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US Consumer Product Safety Commission

CPSCThe US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent regulatory agency created in 1973. CPSC’s jurisdiction includes over 15,000 types of consumer products used in or around the home, except certain items excluded by statute, for example, motor vehicles, tobacco, food, drugs, cosmetics, most medical devices, and pesticides. Examples of products that are regulated by CPSC include clothing, hazardous household cleaners and substances, electronic devices, appliances, furnishings, building materials, toys and other juvenile products.

According to the CPSC nanotechnology statement [pdf]:  

"The potential safety and health risks of nanomaterials, as with other compounds that are incorporated into consumer products, can be assessed under existing CPSC statutes, regulations and guidelines. Neither the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) nor the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) requires the pre-market registration or approval of products. Thus, it is usually not until a product has been distributed in commerce that the CPSC would evaluate a product’s potential risk to the public."

"In the absence of an express regulation, as it does with other consumer products, the staff will look to see whether a defective product composed of or containing nanomaterials creates a substantial risk of injury to the public because of, among other factors, the pattern of the defect, the number of defective products distributed in commerce, and the severity of the risk."

As outlined in its 2017 Operating Plan, the CPSC requested an additional $3 million as part of the Healthy Children initiative in the FY 2017 Request to partner with the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) on a nanotechnology center focused on environment, health, and safety to conduct applied research on exposure to potential chronic hazards related to nanotechnology in consumer products. CPSC staff will undertake the following
activities/programs in FY 2017:

  • Collaborate with state and federal authorities, colleges and universities, and other stakeholders to expand the CPSC’s effectiveness and reach to address consumer exposures to nanomaterials throughout the life-cycle of the materials;
  • Work with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop protocols to assess the potential release of nanoparticles from selected consumer products and determine their contributions to
    human exposure;
  • Maintain a nanotechnology consumer product database of products that claim to have or are believed to contain nanomaterials;
  • Continue to characterise the release of nanomaterials into indoor air and determine the potential exposures to consumers;
  • Collaborate with the NSF- and the EPA-funded Centers for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology to investigate human exposures to nanomaterials, including those released from consumer products; and
  • Partner with NIEHS on a nanocenter focused on environment, health, and safety (pending new appropriations).

Click here to visit the CSPC website.

Did you know?

MWCNT-7 is classified by IARC as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ (Group 2B).