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       Consumer Goods 17/06/2010
Consumer safety regulators join forces
For the first time three regulators looking after the safety of consumers across the Atlantic (in the EU, Canada and the United States) have joined together to demand strong worldwide safety standards on a specific product. The European Commission’s Health and Consumers Directorate General, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and Health Canada, have issued a call for better standards on window blind cords. The aim is to reduce the risk of death and injury that corded window coverings present to children.
Corded window coverings cause strangulation deaths and significant injuries to children worldwide. In seven member states of Europe, 90 children were reported to have visited hospital emergency departments for injuries caused by corded window coverings in 2002. More recently, at least six children in Europe are known to have died from corded window coverings since 2008. In the United States, CPSC staff is aware of 120 fatalities and 113 non-fatal incidents related to corded window coverings since 1999. Health Canada has received reports of 28 strangulation deaths and 23 near-strangulations linked to corded window coverings since 1986.
A coordinated effort by safety agencies and standards development organizations in the U.S., Canada and Europe could lead to cost-effective product development, testing and manufacturing processes in the global economy while putting the safety of children first.
The European Commission and the US and Canadian safety agencies have signed a joint letter calling for international co-ordination by their respective standardisation development organizations.
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