The US Consumer Product Safety Commission released its first consumer-facing industry report in five years, detailing serious problems with safety of household devices, from baby bottles to air conditioners.
The Consumer Product Hazard Analysis Report (CPHAR) has found that more than two-thirds of devices tested contain lead, arsenic, and mercury, and that a large number of devices are also contaminated with mercury and arsenic.
“The public’s health is at stake,” said CPDC Chair Anne Marie Aikins.
“We’re in an era of unprecedented energy efficiency and climate change, so the risks posed by household and industrial products are going to be much greater in the future than they were in the past.”
Consumer products are increasingly connected to the grid and energy sources.
In the coming months, the FCC will issue final rules for the National Electrical Code and the Energy Star program, which will require new energy efficient homes to be retrofitted with more efficient technology.
The FCC will also issue final regulations on the use of LED lights.
The report also reveals that the prevalence of lead in lead-acid batteries has increased dramatically in recent years, as has the rate of lead-based paint and the number of leaded gasoline cans sold each year.
“There’s a lot of work ahead,” Aikens said.
“But it’s clear that we have to take these trends and work to protect our public health, and this is one of the best ways to do that.”
While there has been progress in reducing lead exposure, the report highlights that lead continues to be a significant health concern in many households.
It states that: “The majority of Americans who live in households where lead is present are older than 65 years of age.
The average American household has 1.5 children under the age of 5 years.
These households are the ones most likely to suffer lead poisoning, and lead poisoning is the leading cause of death in the United States.”
The report concludes that “the greatest challenges facing the U.S. are the prevalence, quantity, and cost of lead poisoning in the home.”
Consumer electronics and consumer products are a major consumer source of CO2, a greenhouse gas.
While the United Nations Environmental Programme states that the use and manufacture of household electronics and appliances can contribute to global warming, it notes that “consumers do not own the CO2 they produce, and many people do not have the means to change their lifestyles.
A growing number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and the European Union, have introduced measures to address CO2 emissions from household appliances and electronics.
The United States is one such country.
President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order to eliminate a $5 billion tax credit to help manufacturers comply with regulations on CO2 and reduce the use or manufacture of products that emit carbon dioxide.
This new order includes a ban on the sale of new products that use CO2 as a substitute for electricity.