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Sharing knowledge in consumer protection: a database on experts in evaluation and testing of consumer products and their risks of use

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The average citizen is now demanding more and more quality of and information on the various products that every day life requires. This concerns an extremely broad range of consumer products. Within the European Union, the European Commission (Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection (SANCO) plays a leading role in assuring and controlling the high quality of consumer products. It is known that there are a number of potential risks associated with the use of those products, as shown by the high number of unintentional injuries occurring every year. Therefore, national and international authorities and other instances need access to information for the promotion of safety and for the prevention of accidents. Tools have been made available to the Member States by the European Commission for the completion of a safe internal market of consumer products. Among those, databases have the advantage of being able to store a huge amount of information that can be classified according to real needs, hence serving the citizens. Such availability is immediate if they are deployed on the Internet. Moreover, this has the major advantage of allowing feedback from the users, thus contributing to its improvement. Consequently, a relational database on the safety of consumer products has been set up within the framework of an agreement between Directorate General SANCO and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission: the Consumer Product Safety Database (CPS). The objective of this database is to complement the setting up of a common system of exchanging information on consumer products within the framework of the application of Directive 92/59/EEC. The CPS database gives people concerned with consumer safety information that has never been gathered together before. Hence, this tool can contribute to the creation of a safer market for consumers in accordance with the Union's legislation, as well as facilitating the decisions of Directorate General SANCO regarding consumer products.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-12-01

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