Target's product safety ranking marred by 'flammable sleepwear,' report shows


A popular Minneapolis-based retailer is one of the top offenders when it comes to selling dangerous products to consumers.

Target Corp. has been cited for 34 product safety violations since October 2012, according to a list from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

That's the third-highest number of violations of any retailer during that time period, Bloomberg reports.

Often, consumer product violations involve imported children's products that have excessive levels of lead or other chemicals, or had parts considered too small, CPSC noted in 2014.

Most of Target's violations were for flammable sleepwear from its Circo children's brand that is imported from Cambodia, the report shows. There were also violations that included lead or other chemicals in children's toys imported from China.

Target's website says the company makes sure products meet safety standards, and requires vendors to test products at stricter levels to make sure everything is safe.

Dollar Tree has the most with 62, followed by online retailer Zulily, which has been cited for 55 violations.

Five Below, a chain of discount stores, had the fourth-most violations for a retailer with just five, Bloomberg found.

How dangerous products are reaching families

Bloomberg looked into why all these dangerous products are getting into the hands of consumers, finding that the CPSC, which regulates roughly 10,000 consumer products, inspects less than 1 percent of imports.

Even though the CPSC inspects a small percentage of imports, it has stopped 16.4 million items that have failed to meet federal safety standards from being sold to consumers since October 2012 – including 705,000 items destined for Target's shelves, Bloomberg says.

CPSC has been criticized for failing to protect families from dangerous products, and Bloomberg says limited inspections and loopholes in standards have caused this.

The CPSC discussed ideas at a hearing last month on how to improve its inspection process to prevent unsafe products from getting to consumers while still allowing for speedy delivery of safe products.

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