Is your dishwasher in danger of catching fire? Do the outdoor lighting fixtures in your community pose a shock hazard? Will the peanut butter in your pantry send you to the hospital? Every year in the United States, countless products ranging from power tools to plush toys are recalled by manufacturers. In the first half of 2010, major recalls included several million vehicles and 43 over-the-counter children’s medicines. In December 2009, virtually every Roman blind and roller shade on the market was recalled due to strangulation hazards posed by their cords.
To help consumers stay aware of unsafe, hazardous or defective products, six federal agencies (the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Coast Guard and the Agriculture Department) have joined to create a one-stop online resource for U.S. government recalls. The website, www.recalls.gov, offers comprehensive listings of the latest recall information, as well as a search feature that enables consumers to look up recalls by product type. Visitors to the site may also sign up for a free e-mail notification service to receive new recalls and safety information electronically.