Show-&-Tell: FDA’s Regulation of Fireworks

FDA once regulated the fireworks we are enjoying to celebrate the new year. FDA is one of the oldest consumer protection agency in the United States and, for a longtime, essentially the only agency with such a charge. Thus when Congress passed a new consumer protection law, it historically fell to FDA to implement and enforce the law.

This is why FDA originally regulated fireworks (and other things), under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act of 1960 (FHSA) (which was amended by the Child Protection Act of 1966 and subsequently). FDA ultimately surrendered this authority to the newly created Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) when that agency was created in 1972 (although the transfer happened in 1973).

15 U.S.C. § 2079(a) (transferring authority for FHSA to CPSC) 

The following pictures are taken from an FDA Consumer article in 1970, which discusses FDA’s efforts to remove dangerous fireworks from the market. Additionally, read about FDA work against crackerballs – fireworks that looked like candy (an issues that happened after the article was published).

Crunch berries or fireworks?


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