CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or
death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s
jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from
products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can
injure vulnerable poulations like children and the elderly. The CPSC’s work to ensure
the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette
lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the 30%
decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products
over the past 40 years.
more consumer products employ nanotechnology, concerns are increasing regarding
potential health effects associated with human exposure to this technology.
There is a growing use of compounds or materials that have been produced using
nanotechnologies that directly manipulate matter at the atomic level and
fabrication of materials that could not have been produced in the past. Although
these nanomaterials may have the same chemical composition as
non-nanomaterials, at the nanoscale they may demonstrate different
physical and chemical properties, and behave differently in the environment and
the human body. Members of the U.S. Congress have stated that they recognize
nanotechnology as a new technology utilized in the manufacture of consumer
products, and that they expect the Commission to review the utilization and
safety of its application in consumer products consistent with the Commission’s
mission. In support of that mission, CPSC requested additional funding in 2011
to collect data on nanomaterials use in consumer products. Since then, the CPSC
budget has grown substantially to support EHS R&D and related projects.