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November 2, 2001

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Ann Brown Resigns

 (SafetyAlerts) -  Ann Brown resigned today as Chairman and Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after 7 1/2 years at the helm of the agency.

The longest-serving Chairman in CPSC's history, Brown was appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate in 1994. She was reappointed and confirmed to a second 7-year term in 1999. Brown's goal as Chairman was to keep families safe, and she made the safety of children a top personal priority.

Brown has announced plans to set up a nonprofit organization named SAFE -- Safer America for Everyone, to promote consumer health and safety. SAFE, which she will officially launch on November 3, will have headquarters in Washington, D.C. The organization will have a website, Brown plans to speak out on safety in television appearances, speeches, magazine articles and other media opportunities. Her first article, "How to Buy Safe Toys," will appear in Parade Magazine on November 4, and she will be a regular contributor to NBC's TODAY show.

During Brown's tenure as CPSC Chairman, the agency's funding increased by over 25 percent. Civil penalty amounts increased 2,500 percent. CPSC announced, on average, more than 300 product recalls each year.

Brown increased publicity for CPSC recalls through her frequent appearances on national morning news programs.

CPSC passed several important safety regulations during her time at the agency, including standards for cigarette lighters, bunk beds, bicycle helmets, fireworks, dive sticks and improved child-resistant packaging.

Brown always emphasized her interest in pursuing voluntary cooperation with industry. Under her leadership, the agency agreed to five times as many voluntary standards as mandatory, including voluntary standards for baby walkers, high chairs, crib slats, strollers, play yards, halogen lamps and mobile soccer goals.

Brown also secured a cooperative agreement with the children's clothing industry to remove drawstrings from the necks of children's outergarments (a strangling hazard). She worked with retailers of baby cribs to secure their agreement to voluntarily change their crib displays and advertisements, so that they showed safe sleep environments with no soft bedding in the crib. Ann Brown initiated the Chairman's Commendation for Substantial Contributions to Product Safety to recognize outstanding safety initiatives. She conferred the award on 21 recipients, including a number of leading manufacturers and retailers -- Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool, Toys R Us, Hasbro, Lowe's, McDonald's, Williams-Sonoma and Gerber Products -- as well as the nonprofit organizations, National Safe Kids Campaign and KaBOOM!

She conducted a number of safety partnerships with companies, including the Baby Safety Shower campaign with Gerber Products Company and The Safe Nursery with Babies R Us and Pampers Parenting Institute.

Brown also launched the Product Safety Circle initiative, in which nearly 50 consumer product companies committed to implement 10 safety principles. The PSC became an incubator for new safety technologies and innovative safety practices.

Under Brown's leadership, CPSC won an Innovations in American Government award in 1998 for the Fast-Track Product Recall Program. The award program, funded by the Ford Foundation, was administered by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, in cooperation with the Council for Excellence in Government. The agency, which received a $100,000 award, was one of 10 winners from among 1,400 national, state and local government applicants. CPSC was also awarded five of Vice President Gore's Hammer Awards for reinvention of the agency.

Brown's achievements were recognized with a number of awards, including the American Academy of Pediatrics Excellence in Public Service Award, the Philip Hart Public Service Award (CFA), the Champion of Safe Kids Award (NSKC), the Government Communicator of the Year Award, and a Smith College Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Source: CPSC.

Selected Recent Recalls

Health Professional:

Did you know?
During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
States for safety reasons!

How many did you hear about?

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.