Introduction

The recent series of court judgments in favor of families of victims who died after using talcum powder products is a signal for changes that are needed in product regulation mandates and timely alerts to unsafe consumer products. Customers are responsible for protecting themselves from the dangers lurking in the products we buy. They should not wait for corporations to alert the public of adverse side effects from their products. Consumers can learn to alert others to avoid harmful products and items.

 

Need for Change

The growing problem of injuries caused by harmful products and services indicates the current regulation system mandates are not sufficient for protecting the consumer. The current process takes months to complete. In spite of the cautions a corporation takes to comply with safety standards, we still hear stories about contaminated food and prescription medications injuries and deaths. Alternative manufacturing strategies do not address the issue of adjusting regulation policies.

Consumers can drive the need for change but they first need to realize why the changes are needed. They should also learn how their actions can be a source of the injuries to health and damage to property. Consumers cannot be the sole factor for changes needed to make products safer to use and need to make consistent efforts to alert the government and manufacturers of the harmful effects from dangerous products. Consumer trust and loyalty is maintained when the manufacturer shows interest in the purchasing decisions and safety of the customer.

 

Consumer Trust

When the image history, sales, and the profits of large medical companies are considered more important than the safety of their loyal customers, it is easy for venerated corporations to become more concerned with preserving consumer sales and corporate images and promoting their latest innovation than protecting customers from harm. Personal care, cosmetic, and medical companies believe they are maintaining the quality of their products and the integrity of the company reputation by conducting evaluations of their products and the ingredients used to make them. When they blindly follow routine product quality assessments that may not have been updated by the Food and Drug Administration in over a decade, the processes may not detect adverse side effects of harmful items or ingredients and can easily miss emerging health dangers.

 

Safety Advocates

When dangers are detected, the voice of consumer safety advocates seem to hesitate to alert the public of dangerous consumer goods. Government agencies should not rely solely upon the company to alert consumers of hidden dangers. While the duty of the government is not limited to monitoring quality compliance, the mechanisms of alerting the public about harmful products run even slower when adverse effects are detected in consumable goods and items.

 

The Rustic Time Machine

The FDA is reevaluating regulations for biomedical and medical product research, but they are not responsible for consumer decisions related to health and personal care products. The information age we live in provides customers with numerous channels to obtain information and to warn others of the dangers hidden in the trusted brand named items, goods, and services we buy.

 

Proactive Actions

The proactive consumer can fill the gaps through the use of social media platforms to announce personal experiences. Collecting information from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board on the latest research findings on personal care and cosmetic ingredients. Consumers can take action by avoiding the products or seeking alternatives to the active ingredient of the products before irreparable harm is done to their health and the health of their families. The Green Movement has spawned additional channels for the voice of the consumer to be heard. The Environmental Working Group provides information on what is really lurking in the products we buy. The group also communicates consumer concerns directly to the public and FDA. The information and ability to voice fears and concerns empowers anxious customers who will no longer have to wait for bad things to happen before something is done about it.

 

Protecting Our Families Now

Consumers can also start protecting their families from harmful products that ware already on the market. A variety of produce and personal care products are sold with chemicals believed to be the culprit of neurological and developmental disorders in our children. Project Tender is currently working on proposals for government health agencies as well as corporations to lower developmental risks in children along with publishing lists of toxins found in household, food and personal care products.

 

Additional Information

Additional resources for product safety can be found at the Medical Product Safety Network. The network provides information on unsafe products and allows consumers to report unsafe product experiences. The Information is reported to the FDA and medical community partnerships so solutions can be developed to reduce the number of injuries caused by these products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is another useful resource of information reporting channels for dangerous items.

Image Attribute: Pixabay

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and/or student and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of United 4 Social Change Inc., its board members, or officers.
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