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PRODUCT SAFETY

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the long-term effects on human health of harmful elements and compounds used in consumer products.

Since 2008, the State of Vermont has enacted four laws to limit exposure to such substances – lead, phthalantes, flame retardants, and bisphenol A.

Please click on any of the below for more information on these four toxic substances:

Lead

Phthalates

Flame Retardants

Bisphenol A

Legal Action by the Attorney General

The Attorney General has the authority to investigate product safety violations and take any appropriate legal action that is not directly “preempted” by federal law. Attorney General William H. Sorrell has settled claims against several companies for selling children’s and other products containing excessive amounts of lead and/or cadmium (another toxic heavy metal), including Mattel (a multistate settlement), Ganz (a Canadian distributor of gift items), and Dollar Tree.

Federal Product Safety Laws

The government agency primarily responsible for product safety in the United States is the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Among other things, the CPSC investigates product safety complaints, enforces federal safety laws, and negotiates recalls of unsafe products. Those laws include the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), which limits the amount of lead in children’s products and the amount of phthalates (chemicals that soften plastics) in certain toys and infant products.

If you have email, you can subscribe for free to a service that will send you notifications of products recalled by the CPSC.

Where to Complain

If you have a complaint about an unsafe product, or suspect that a certain product may be unsafe, you can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program in Burlington, Vermont, or the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.