INDIANAPOLIS, May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- More families were injured by defective household products in the first quarter of 2017 as incidents rose to their highest levels in two decades.
The Q1 2017 Recall Index from Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS (NASDAQ: SRCL) found that while the number of consumer products recalled decreased compared to Q4 2016, products for the home and family posed disproportionate dangers. Just four household product categories accounted for more than 75 percent of all consumer products recalled: home furnishings/fixtures, housewares, toys, and child nursery equipment and supplies. At the same time, the risks of people falling, bleeding, or choking accounted for nearly 75 percent of the top hazards reported.
It's a concerning trend. Injuries reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) jumped 141 percent in Q1 2017. Incidents also increased 379 percent to 16,649 – higher than any single quarter and any full year since at least 1997.
Falling hazards from products such as faulty baby strollers, swing sets, and patio chairs accounted for the highest percentage of recalled units (39 percent). Other leading hazards included products that caused lacerations (27.4 percent), gas leaks (10.1 percent), and choking hazards (8 percent).
"The phrase 'home sweet home' may be challenged as a result of these findings," said Michael Good, Vice President of Marketing & Sales Operations, Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS. "While consumer product recall levels have remained relatively flat, the number of problems reported to the CPSC has skyrocketed. A higher risk of harm also carries a greater risk of brand damage and legal liability. Manufacturers need to be prepared for the inevitability of a product recall."
The Recall Index, which reports quarterly on recalls in food, pharmaceutical, automotive, medical device, and consumer product industries, did find a silver lining across other industries. Recall activity in Q1 2017 was down overall, declining in seven of the 10 primary metrics the Index tracks.
The outliers were recalled automotive and food and beverage units, which both increased significantly. While FDA food-related recalls dropped 19 percent in Q1 to 200, the number of actual units recalled increased 507 percent to about 92 million products. It was mainly driven by nutritional supplements, which accounted for more than 80 percent of food units recalled, mostly due to one large recall. Overall automotive recalls ticked down 6 percent, to 211. But the number of recalled units spiked 144 percent, driven by a new wave of airbag-related recalls.
Pharmaceutical recalls in Q1 were consistent with the previous quarter, dropping just 2 percent to 81 recalls. Only 2 percent of pharmaceutical recalls were domestic and global in reach, making it the lowest quarter since at least 2012.
Medical devices, too, saw a slight decrease, dropping 9 percent to 284 recalls. Recalled units saw a more dramatic drop – declining 85 percent to about 9.3 million units – the lowest quarter since Q4 2013. But Class I medical devices, which are those deemed to be the highest risk and subject to the most regulatory controls, comprised 10 percent of recalled units, the highest percentage since Q3 2014.
"At Stericycle we like to say that only three things are certain: death, taxes, and recalls. The Q1 2017 Recall Index confirms the variable nature of recalls quarter to quarter," added Good. "The key lesson is that now is the time for manufacturers to prepare, because we know from experience that this kind of lull doesn't last and could be quickly followed by a surge in the next quarter."
The full Q1 2017 Recall Index is available for download: http://www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com/recall-index/.
About the Stericycle Recall Index
The Stericycle Recall Index is the only report that aggregates and tracks recall data to help manufacturers and other industry stakeholders navigate the regulatory environment and identify trends. Each quarter Stericycle analyzes data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
About Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS™
Stericycle Inc. is a NASDAQ-listed global business-to-business services company which provides highly specialized solutions to healthcare and commercial businesses of all sizes. Founded in 1989, Stericycle Inc. has grown to become a leader across a range of complex and highly regulated market sectors and operates in 550 locations. Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS™ is the industry leader in managing automotive, consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. ExpertSOLUTIONS streamlines the entire product recall process and manages Notification & Response, Processing & Tracking, and Compliance & Reporting for leading global companies. For more information, visit www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com.
 Based on number of units recalled.
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SOURCE Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS