In a US first, the digital consumer product safety information service WeMakeItSafer Inc has summarized more than two decades worth of product recall information by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), making it available to concerned consumers.
Categorized and visualized
The interactive online tool, which organizes CPSC data from 1990 to September 2011, breaks the information down into product categories, the number of injuries reported, estimated retail value of products recalled each year and common hazards, and presents them in easy-to-understand graphs.
Cymax customers will be interested to know that in the five years to 2009, home and garden products were consistently the second-most recalled items, behind children and baby products. The overall number of recalls per year also gradually drifted higher between 2001 and 2009 – from 225 to 390.
A new structure for safety recalls
WeMakeItSafer spent three years organizing the data, motivated by the previously inconsistent and unstructured nature of publicly available recall information.
“Although information from government agencies continues to improve over time, historically, data have not been available in a clean, reliable format that makes building applications and conducting statistical analyses in an efficient manner possible,” Jennifer Toney, CEO of WeMakeItSafer, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The first 19 years of data are available in free reports, while 2010-11 information is locked for paid subscribers ($100 per month).