Brian Joseph

Once Meek Agency Flexes its Muscles, But Likely to Face Pushback Under Trump FairWarining Reports

Once Meek Agency Flexes its Muscles, But Likely to Face Pushback Under Trump

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is trying to change its image, one civil penalty at a time. For decades, the federal agency largely was seen as a doormat with few resources and a toothless enforcement record. But over the past few years, under its chairman, Elliot Kaye, the CPSC has dramatically increased the penalties imposed…

A Moving Story FairWarining Investigates

A Moving Story

Crooked Movers Victimize Consumers and Usually Get Away With It

Gwen Caplan’s nightmare began with a Yelp search. It was the summer of 2012 and the middle-aged mother of two was looking for someone to move her and her kids from San Rafael, Calif., to Glendale, Ariz. Money was tight, so Caplan scoured the web for an affordable but reputable moving company. Her search unearthed…

Advocacy Groups Tout Product Hazards Database to Give Consumers a Fair Warning FairWarining Reports

Advocacy Groups Tout Product Hazards Database to Give Consumers a Fair Warning

In the years since the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched SaferProducts.gov in March 2011, more than 29,000 reports of potentially dangerous products have been filed with the searchable database. Now, five leading consumer groups, have analyzed the data collected on the site, finding that it provides a valuable, but underutilized, resource for anyone buying…

Elliot Kaye FairWarining Reports

Furniture Tip-Over Deaths and Injuries Spur Threat of Federal Action

The chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission threatened Wednesday to hit furniture makers with mandatory federal rules if the industry doesn’t strengthen its voluntary standards to prevent its products from tipping over and killing children. “The current standard just does not get the job done and it needs to be revised now,” said…

Maker of Drain-Cleaning Fluid Getting Steady Drip of Complaints About Acid Burns FairWarining Reports

Maker of Drain-Cleaning Fluid Getting Steady Drip of Complaints About Acid Burns

On the afternoon of June 30, Michael Taillard and his wife and four kids emerged from the Shop-N-Save in Benzonia, Mich., with a shopping cart full of groceries. On the lower rack sat a 128-ounce bottle of Rooto Professional Drain Opener, a powerful cleaner made almost entirely of sulfuric acid and sold in a protective,…

Even Furniture That Meets Industry Standards Can Tip Over and Kill Kids, Report Says FairWarining Reports

Even Furniture That Meets Industry Standards Can Tip Over and Kill Kids, Report Says

Furniture manufacturers don’t always follow voluntary industry standards designed to prevent tip-overs that can injure and kill children. That was underscored by IKEA’s recent recall of 29 million chests and dressers after the company admitted that many of its products didn’t meet voluntary industry standards and that six children have been killed since 1989 in…

Former Chief of Consumer Agency Testifying for Accused Company FairWarining Reports

Former Chief of Consumer Agency Testifying for Accused Company

As head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission until 2013, Inez Tenenbaum spoke out about the public health threat that button batteries pose to small children. These days Tenenbaum is serving as an expert witness for Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. in connection with a negligence lawsuit against the discount store chain – a case…

IKEA Agrees to Massive Recall of Chests Linked to Tipover Deaths of Young Children FairWarining Reports

IKEA Agrees to Massive Recall of Chests Linked to Tipover Deaths of Young Children

See editor’s note at the bottom of the story. IKEA, the home furnishings giant, announced today that it is recalling about 180 models of chests and dressers that it admitted do not meet voluntary industry safety standards, including the popular MALM-style dresser, which has killed three children by tipping over and falling on them. “The…

Report Cites Large Inventory of Carcinogens in Peoples’ Bodies FairWarining Reports

Report Cites Large Inventory of Carcinogens in Peoples’ Bodies

As many as 420 known or suspected carcinogens have been found in human populations through monitoring studies conducted across the globe, according to a first-of-its-kind literature review released today by the Environmental Working Group. “The array of carcinogens detected in humans is alarming,” says the report by Curt DellaValle, a senior scientist with EWG, a…

Growing Momentum for Self-Driving Cars Worries Safety Advocates FairWarining Reports

Growing Momentum for Self-Driving Cars Worries Safety Advocates

On Valentine’s Day in Silicon Valley, one of Google’s experimental, self-driving cars sideswiped a city bus at 2 miles an hour. The incident marked the first time an autonomous car contributed to an accident on a public road, but did nothing to diminish the Obama administration’s enthusiasm for driverless vehicles. A month after the crash,…