ICPHSO-ASTM Age Grading Roundtable Registration Now Open….

Roundtable on Products & the Appeal to Children:  Applications & Consequences

ICPHSO is pleased to again join with ASTM to bring you a free one day workshop on age grading.   Age determination is a critical step in the development of children’s products. But the appeal of a product to children is also important to consider in the development of general use products. This session will explore new research and the CPSC’s updated age-grading guidelines, as well as how those may be informative for general use products, and the consequences of “getting it wrong”.

This free workshop is open to all but you must pre-register with ASTM to attend.  The workshop is being hosted at the Law Offices of Covington & Burling, 850 10th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.  The workshop is being held from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm and includes breakfast, breaks, and lunch.  Hotel accommodations have not been arranged so you will need to make your own hotel arrangements.  There are several hotels near the meeting site.  Check the Covington website for details.

This roundtable continues the collaboration between ICPHSO and the ASTM F157100 Liquid Laundry Packets Subcommittee, which have previously sponsored workshops on Voluntary Standards, Information and Education Programs and the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.

Click Here for the Agenda

Click Here To Register

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2018.

A reminder that ICPHSO’s 2018 Northwest Regional Product Safety Training Workshop is being held on June 19, 2018, hosted by Amazon at the Amazon Meeting Center in Seattle, Washington.  Submit your proposal today for the workshop.

More information can be found HERE.




2018 Northwest Regional Workshop “Call For Presentations” Now Open!

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ICPHSO is now accepting proposals for our 2018 Northwest Regional Product Safety Training Workshop, June 19, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.   The Regional Training Workshop is hosted by Amazon and will be held at the Amazon Meeting Center in Seattle.  ICPHSO is excited to bring our Regional Workshop back to Seattle and again work with Board Member DE Fenton, who is the Workshop Planning Committee Chairman.   Here’s the link for the Call for Presentations.  Hotel, Registration, Sponsorship and Exhibitor information is coming soon.  Check the ICPHSO Event Page for updated information.



Only 113 days to Seattle!

Can you believe it?  Here we are only a few days out of our 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium and only 113 days to go (June 19, 2018)  until our Northwest Regional Product Safety Training Workshop at Amazon in Seattle, Washington.  Board Members DE Fenton and Renee Chiang are actively working on the Northwest Regional Meeting.  We hope to roll out our theme, call for presentations and hotel information in the next couple of weeks.  At the same time, Board Member Rod Freeman is working with the European Commission (EC) to further develop ICPHSO’s 2018 International Symposium November 12-13, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.  The EC’s International Product Safety Week takes place November 12-15, 2018.  As details become available, I will report on them.   We are also working again with ASTM to develop a one-day workshop on April 13, 2018 at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. on age label guidelines.  You will want to save the date and not miss this unique one day workshop which will include experts in this area.

2018 Symposium Highlights:

From Tutorials to our Key Note speakers on Block Chain Technology and the CPSC, we think we offered something for everyone last week during the kick-off of our 25th Silver Jubilee Anniversary Year.   Belinda May, as Symposium Planning Chair and now President,  really put on a  great training meeting. It will certainly be hard to top what we did, although I am confident we certainly will try!  We are working hard to upload all the final presentations and provide an updated final Symposium attendee list as soon as we can.  We had over 825 attendees from 18 countries in attendance and I want to thank each of you for the choice you made to attend our Annual Symposium.  The support you provide allows us to bring you the type of content filled Symposia you have come to expect from us.  Incoming President Matt Howsare is already working on our 2019 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium which will be held Monday, February 25 through Thursday, February 28, 2019 at the Marriott Renaissance Downtown, Washington, DC.  We were last at this hotel in 2016 and we are looking forward to our return next year.

I wanted to reference a few highlights from our 2018 Annual Symposium.

Tutorials included, CPSC Compliance Beginners and Refresher course; sessions on the regulation of Drones; Lithium Ion Batteries; Ethics and Product Safety; Leveraging the Reach of Health and Human Service Providers to Enhance Consumer Product Safety and How to Make Retailers Happy among others.

New ICPHSO Executive Committee Officers include:  President:  Belinda May, Dentons LLC; President Elect and 2019 Symposium Planning Chairman: Matt Howsare, Mintz Levin; and Vice President:  Rick Rosati, Bureau Veritas. New ICPHSO Board Members include: Tabatha Bauer, Staples; Andy Church, Insight Quality Services; Don Huber, Consumer Reports; and Matt Smith, ICIX.  Read the Press Release Here

Also,we want to welcome to the Board as Ex-Officio Members, Geoff Barrett, Health Canada and Carol Cave, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

We were honored to be able to provide Health Canada, PROFECO and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission the opportunity to sign a trilateral memo of understanding at our Symposium which will promote consumer product safety in North America.  We were all  witness to something quite historic as a result. Read the Press Release Here

We also announced that Carol-Pollack Nelson was the recipient of the 2018 Ross Koeser Achievement Award.  The award, named after one of our Founders and First Executive Director annually recognizes a member for their significant contributions to ICPHSO.  Carol indeed exemplifies this through her work as a volunteer, former Board Member and President.  Carol also was the coordinator of our very successful 25th Anniversary Splitsville Bowling event, attended by some 350 of our attendees.  The food, drinks, bowling, games, deserts,  and company was outstanding.   ICPHSO also announced a special service award that was given to long-term member Bruce Farquhar for his continued outstanding in assuring ICPHSO has a global presence especially with international regulators.

And finally, who can forget our 25th anniversary year kick off fireworks event held Tuesday evening after our welcome reception.  Over ten minutes of up close and personal fireworks celebrating ICPHSO and its anniversary.  Our thanks again to John Rogers, Executive Director, AFSL and PYROTECNICO for a show we won’t soon forget.  It was a great way to kick off our anniversary year.

Thanks again to all attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, gift card and gift bag sponsors and a special thanks to Association Manager, Kimber Nation;  Association Administrator, Tara Reddy ; and to Yvette Duron and Emma Celeste for assisting us during the Symposium.  Without the continued support and assistance from Kimber and Tara, this meeting would never have taken place.   I hope to provide more updates on specific sessions in the future as well as update you on upcoming events.  Follow my blog for updates.






ICPHSO 2017 International Symposium Recap: Day 1 Keynote Speakers

ICPHSO 2017 Toyko International Symposium_website banner 05.02.17SaveDate ICPHSO’s first visit to Tokyo, Japan and our just completed 2017 International Symposium was a great success.  The attendee turn out from more than 15 different countries provided a global perspective during the Symposium.  And, our panels of expert speakers, our sponsors and exhibitors all reminded us why the “I” is in ICPHSO’s name.

ICPHSO brings together manufacturers, retailers, regulators, and others from the safety community to discuss, learn and be trained on how to make the world a safer place for all consumers.  The international aspect of those topics is becoming more and more important in Japan as we learned from keynote presentations by Government of Japan regulators.  In Japan, companies have led innovation for decades and Japanese consumers have an appetite for innovative products.  Below I will highlight notes from our keynote speakers for Day 1 of the Symposium:

Takashi Wada, Director of the Product Safety Division,  Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).


Director Wada highlighted areas of issues  based primarily on the advancement of global technologies affecting consumers within Japan and discussed specific issues and how actions have been taken to improve the safety of various products. METI manages and endorses counter measures of suppliers.

The total number of accident reports has been decreasing over the last 9 years. 802 accidents reported in 2016. 672 (80%) were fires and fire by electrical appliances is the most common.

Elderly people – relatively speaking are involved with more product deaths and injuries. Accidents for children under 10 are mostly serious or severe.  Deaths – rising for the elderly people in their 70s, 80s etc. according to their data. Fatal accidents involving elderly people over the age of 80 are increasing. Japan has a respect for Elderly day in September, which is a holiday, and products which are common for accidents with the elderly are highlighted in a press release and in other ways to protect the elderly based on the injury and death data collected.



Post market product: manufacturer recalls. No special laws that mandate a recall, but manufacturers can be instructed to act. Normally, voluntary decision is needed to conduct the recall.  In 2016, a total of 91 recalls were recorded. 18 were triggered by serious accidents. 73 triggered by non-serious accidents.

Recalls are an effective way to restore products, however many of these products remain in the market though, even when there is a recall. These products may still cause accidents. There were still 89 accidents in 2016 caused by products that were not recovered in a recall.

How to enhance effectiveness of recalls? Rise in use of IOT – traceability of products can be done at lower cost. There is no proof of the concept yet, but  some ideas such as the use of QR codes on products which allows information on the product to be provided at low-cost. Once subjected to recalls, consumers can know of this. If consumers are registered, they can be told of recalls. Recall information notice system, could also notify of inspections.

Award manufacturers for best practice in product safety. Product safety award system was developed in Japan 11 years ago. Product safety inspection is recommended to consumers in a particular month. Biggest event is then the awarding system. This week on Thursday at Shibuya there was an awarding ceremony.

This year’s award winners – YKK and Acuface Laboratory Inc. Several other companies received awards and presented their best practices to share their activities within the industries.


Mr. Wada discussed ideas for cooperation with foreign product safety authorities. Overseas production are not subject to regulation so METI  doesn’t have as much information about violation of the products.  METI needs cooperation of foreign regulators. Difficult to ask people selling illegal products through overseas sites into Japan. So they deal with this in a number of different ways:

• Bilateral Cooperation with CPSC and AQSIQ (Cooperative Agreements such as MOU and Guidelines)….
• Multilateral Cooperation e.g. OECD / ICPHSO
• Technical cooperation with Southeast Asian countries. Including new cooperation with Thailand.

A key take away from this keynote presentation was the invitation to cooperate and collaboration not only between global regulators but also between industries and organizations such as ICPHSO where industries can learn best practices.


Ann Marie Buerkle, Acting Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was the second keynote presenter on day 1 of the International Symposium.  The Acting Chairman again recognized ICPHSO as the gold standard for collaboration.


ICPHSO provides the perfect opportunity to discuss collective goal of product safety. The Acting Chairman pointed out while there is a change in leadership at CPSC, the mission remains the same. Laws and regulations don’t change – keep consumer safe from unreasonable risk and harm.

Buerkle stressed collaboration and engagement – reaching out to all stakeholders and taking advantage of their expertise. Reasonable thoughtful approach. Education is key – not just for consumers but for industry as well.

The CPSC follows guidelines and direction from Congress. CPSC priorities include the development of a strategic plan;  sharing data and information and following an operating plan which just came before CPSC.  The operating plan provides the public a roadmap on how CPSC navigates and spend resources. This information is available to all on the CPSC website.

Acting Chairman Buerkle discussed how to most effectively enact agenda: by identifying and addressing risks and emerging hazards; improving import surveillance to ensure what is done at ports can help prevent dangerous products from getting in to the market and how to enhance the agency’s ability to receive data.

The challenge is not only what’s in front of the CPSC by reviewing and looking at incidents through data, but also to be vigilant about emerging hazards. What else is on the horizon?  A current concern is the internet of things   CPSC has some 550 employees, $125 million budget, and has jurisdiction over 15,000 types of consumer products. It is not an easy task to look out on the horizon. Some of those emerging hazards include big data and e-commerce. IOT is quickly developing – it’s a double-edged sword. Products can get to consumer more quickly but also companies can let them know when there is a problem.

The Chairman also discussed what she identified as her priorities for CPSC.

One such  priority is  collaboration and engagement among all stakeholders (consumers, manufacturers and government)

Another priority is import surveillance. It’s better not to let unsafe products into the country then have to deal with them afterwards in a recall. Continue to use risk assessment methodology to look at products coming into the country to ensure compliance.

A challenge facing CPSC is e-commerce. What consumers now do is go onto third-party platforms or directly to manufacturers and order a product to their home. How to ensure that product is safe and compliant?

Through collaboration with third-party platforms and others,  CPSC wants to discuss how to be a part of the solution. These platforms and others could be an unwilling or unwitting party to unsafe products coming into the stream of commerce.

A further priority is collaboration and education. This needs to go to consumers and the regulated community. Can make expectations more clear this way as well as affecting safety in the long run.  Consumer education is also important – so often unaware of hazards. Calling consumer attention to hidden hazards is critical, such as the CPSC’s safe sleep campaign. Raising awareness is one key to reaching consumers.

Another very important part of what CPSC does is the voluntary standards process. Make sure, when possible, to pursue this rather than mandatory standard. On a practical level it makes a lot of sense. Think of this as a consensus standard, when all stakeholders are around the table and identify an issue and work together to identify how to address the safety issue. A consensus standard is real-time – it can be changed easily and quickly if it is not working.

CPSC is also working with the  international community to conduct workshops so that people understand what a product needs to comply with if it is to be brought into the United States.  We no longer live in a local economy, it is a global economy. Problems facing the United States are probably facing everyone in the International Symposium.

Another priority is data. CPSC has to be a data driven agency and needs increased resources from congress to increase capability to receive different types of data and do analysis of that data. Data helps to identify emerging hazards. Getting the agency modernized with data is a key component and priority. Data drives voluntary standards and other proactive actions. Despite the fact that so much of what the CPSC does has to do with injury and death, its important to remember, as an agency, we have to rely on data and science. That is how we do our best work. Look at data and identify where the emerging hazards are and address it with one of the tools we have to deal with the issue.

CPSC held a recall effectiveness workshop in August. Recall effectiveness is something that has been discussed but is an enigma. How do we measure recall effectiveness?  How do we get to the consumer? Its imperative to find ways to directly notify consumers (e.g. product registration or other means), through a best practices handbook for recalls. CPSC will continue to discuss this in order to get to some real solutions. Can recalls be tiered? Not all recalls are created equal. This is an ongoing discussion we will continue to have.

We all have a common interest in safety, we are all consumers, and we all have families, for whom we want safe products. That is the common goal. It is a great place to start. CPSC remains available to discuss solutions and issues with all stakeholders.



I will provide additional summaries on our International Symposium in the days ahead.  I appreciate the assistance of Board Member and Symposium Chair Rod Freeman and his team from the Cooley law firm (Alex Radcliffe, Carol Roberts, Sarah-Jane Dobson, Fergal Duggin and Mark Deem), who helped plan and implement our Symposium. The notes provided by the Cooley team are much appreciated as I report on the activities that took place during the Symposium.  Any observations included about the Symposium are my own and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Cooley or ICPHSO.






ICPHSO Update on Regulators and 2018 Annual Symposium…

The support ICPHSO receives from all segments of the product safety community contributes to the success we have had over the last 24 years in bringing together safety and health professionals from the broad spectrum of the safety community.  Among these safety and health professionals we include regulators whose significant contributions at our three yearly conferences provide the opportunities for stakeholders to hear directly from and interact with global regulators.

During my previous life as a regulator, it became very clear to me how important it was for regulators to be able to attend ICPHSO conferences and talk and interact with the regulated industry in a non-adversarial manner.  Of course, my dealings with industry when I was at CPSC were always non-adversarial, but in that environment there was always some lingering doubts about everyone’s intentions.  Participation in ICPHSO broke down those walls and allowed the CPSC staff the opportunity to talk with industry in a neutral forum in a more casual and relaxed manner.   A mutual trust could be developed especially when there wasn’t a “pending case” to discuss.  Of course, over the years a lot of business was conducted during ICPHSO, which I think worked out to everyone’s benefit.

It was with this in mind, that ICPHSO realized early on the collaboration it established with  product safety regulators was a key aspect of our mission to bring everyone together.

CPSC and more recently Health Canada have been important members of the ICPHSO Board of Directors providing advice and guidance to the ICPHSO Executive Committee and Board on regulatory issues affecting our membership.

I am pleased to announce two new appointments as Ex-Officio members of the ICPHSO Board of Directors from Health Canada and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Geoff Barrett, Ex-Officio Board Member from Health Canada

Geoff is currently the Acting Director General of the Consumer Product Safety Directorate (CPSD) of Health Canada.  In this role, Geoff is responsible for the assessment, management, and communication of health and safety risks for all consumer products and cosmetics in Canada.  As Director of CPSD’s Risk Management Bureau, Geoff is also responsible for the development and implementation of risk management approaches for Health Canada.

Carol Cave, Ex-Officio Board Member from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Carol has been the Deputy Director for the Office of Compliance and Field Operations since October 2015. In this senior leadership position, Carol oversees and coordinates all Compliance and Enforcement activities for the Commission.  These activities include working with Commission staff, other federal agencies and industry on the identification of consumer product defects, negotiation of voluntary recalls and efforts to reduce the risk of injury from consumer products through safe design.

ICPHSO is very appreciative to both Health Canada and the CPSC for allowing Geoff and Carol to participate at ICPHSO and represent these key regulators with our membership.  I encourage everyone to get to know both Carol and Geoff and visit with them at a future Symposium.

2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium Update

I am also happy to announce that our 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium scheduled for February 20-23, 2018 in Orlando, Florida is proceeding at a rapid pace. Registration, Hotel, Sponsorship, Exhibitor, and Scholarship information can be found on our website.  We also just posted the  preliminary schedule for the Annual Symposium and, as you will see, we have a full schedule beginning with a CPSC Lunch and Learn Tutorial on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 11:30 am and ending with Roundtable discussions on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 5:00 pm.  The roundtable discussions start at lunch on Friday with leaders from product safety and other fields brainstorming both process and new products to further safety.  After lunch, we will further the discussion on new technology to assist industry and consumers to identify recalled products and improve the effectiveness of recalls;  and then conclude the Symposium with a roundtable discussion about the practical use of data mining including new technology, in an effort to identify emerging hazards and trends before they can do harm.

As you can see, we have filled the Symposium to the core, from beginning to end with important safety information that every safety and health professional will need to assist them in their jobs.  We hope you will be a part of the conversation and make your plans to participate during the entire Symposium.  You won’t be sorry!

Check back on our website frequently for updates on the agenda as we will post new information as it becomes available.

Regards and for those traveling with us to Tokyo – safe travels,




Thank you International Symposium Sponsors/Exhibitors!

Thanks to the following sponsors and exhibitors at ICPHSO’S upcoming International Symposium in Tokyo, Japan, November 14-15, 2017.  ICPHSO appreciates their continued support and encourages you to check out the services they provide.

Samsung *  Hogan Lovells International  * Panasonic *  STC *  Asiainspection (AI) *  Cooley UK LLP *  Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu * ADK Information Services LLP/St. Louis University *  Product Safety Letter (PSL) *  The Toy Association *  Dentons US LLP *   Insight Quality Services *



25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee…

Registration, Hotel and Sponsorships Now Open for ICPHSO’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium.  Don’t miss out! Register today and reserve your hotel room while they are available.  Check for latest Updates Here.

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