WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) have joined together to call for strong and comprehensive international safety standards on window coverings from manufacturers and standards organizations.
This international, multi-lateral call for immediate action (pdf) is the first time the three safety agencies, representing consumers in 29 countries, have joined together to demand strong worldwide safety standards on a specific product.
A coordinated effort by the three safety agencies and standards organizations in the U.S., Canada and Europe could lead to cost-effective product development and testing and manufacturing processes in the global economy while putting the safety of children first.
Corded window coverings cause strangulation deaths and significant injuries in children worldwide. In the United States, CPSC staff is aware of 120 fatalities and 113 non-fatal incidents related to corded window coverings since 1999. Health Canada has received reports of 28 strangulation deaths and 23 near-strangulations linked to corded window coverings since 1986. In seven Member States of Europe, 90 children were reported to have visited hospital emergency departments for injuries caused by corded window coverings in 2002. More recently, at least six children in Europe have died from corded window coverings since 2008.
Since December 2009, CPSC has recalled tens of millions of corded Roman shades and roll-up blinds sold by a variety of manufacturers and retailers. These window coverings pose a serious risk of strangulation to young children. CPSC continues to urge parents and caregivers to make sure that there are no accessible cords on the front, side or back of their window coverings.
CPSC recommends the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.