"The database has the potential to create a new generation of consumers educated about product hazards in and around their homes," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum in an Associated Press report.
Consumer advocates heralded the move as a way to get information to the public more quickly. Currently, removing a faulty or hazardous product from the market is a cumbersome process that can take months or longer. This leaves consumers in the dark about the risks. The new database would make product incident reports available to the public sooner and before a recall is initiated.
That doesn't sit well with manufacturers. "Our primary concern is that information might be provided to the public which is not accurate or which might even be malicious," said Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association.
The CPSC must still share the information it receives with manufacturers before it's made public but the firms are asked to respond within 10 days. "We're not going to make everybody happy," said commissioner Bob Adler, a database booster.