Directorate for Laboratory Sciences.
The Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, which is managed by the Associate Executive Director for Laboratory Sciences, is responsible for conducting engineering analyses and testing of consumer products, supporting the development of voluntary and mandatory standards, and supporting the Agency's compliance activities through product safety assessments. A wide variety of products are tested and evaluated to determine the causes of failure and the hazards presented. Product safety tests involve mechanical, electrical, and combustion engineering, as well as thermal and chemical analyses. Test protocols are developed, test fixtures and setups are designed and fabricated, and tests are conducted following the requirements and guidance of voluntary and mandatory standards and/or using sound engineering and scientific judgment. The Laboratory participates with and supports other agency directorates on multi-disciplinary teams in the development of voluntary and mandatory standards. The Laboratory coordinates and cooperates with other Federal agencies, private industry, and consumer interest groups by sharing engineering and scientific research, test, and evaluation expertise. Additionally, Corrective Action Plans, proposed by manufacturers to correct a product defect, are tested and evaluated to assure that the proposed changes adequately resolve the problem. Regulated products, such as children's products, sleepwear, and bicycle helmets, are routinely tested and evaluated for compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the Flammable Fabrics Act, and the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. The Directorate is composed of the Mechanical Engineering Division, the Electrical Engineering Division (which includes flammable fabrics), and the Chemical Division. Overall, the directorate provides engineering, scientific, and other technical expertise to all entities within the Consumer Product Safety Commission.