Thursday, September 17, 2009

CPSIA - What on EARTH is She Talking About?

In a statement approving of a penalty imposed on a company for a drawstring choking hazard violation, Commissioner Nancy Nord made some mysterious remarks. Dense as I am, I just don't get it. If you understand these remarks, I hope you can explain them to me sometime.

a. "On a broader level, I commend companies already following the drawstring voluntary standard. However, I am deeply concerned by the industry's need to increase its efforts to educate its member companies about the problem with drawstrings on children's upper outwear, as well as the Agency's need to increase its efforts to publicize the hazards of these circumstances. Industry and the Agency must make a more aggressive effort, together, to get this warning information out to manufacturers, especially smaller ones who may be less likely to be aware of the seriousness of this problem. In addition, efforts need to be increased to have parents be better informed and be more vigilant in making sure their young children do not wear clothing with drawstrings in their upperwear."

Huh? A need for EDUCATION OF MANUFACTURERS, ESPECIALLY SMALL ONES? What?! The CPSC and industry working COOPERATIVELY to REACH OUT to both makers AND TO PARENTS? Heresy! Besides, doesn't Commissioner Nord know that all problems are best solved by governments, and that individual responsibility, not to mention the obligation to supervise children, is an outmoded concept? Please!

b. [This quote is even CRAZIER.] "In situations like this, I am sadly reminded how agency and industry efforts and limited resources have had to be focused on issues that do not present real safety concerns, like bike valves, library books and rhinestones, instead of on real dangers like drawstrings on children's apparel. The Agency, the industry, and the public at large need to remain focused on the seriousness of drawstrings in children's outerwear until every avoidable injury is just that - avoided." [Emphasis added.]

I don't get it. What's she talking about? You would think she's never been the Chairman of the CPSC or something. First of all, why does she regret the expenditure of millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours dickering about dangerous items like rhinestones? Kids lick their bike chains and chow down on rhinestones every day, after all - oooh, that's so unsafe! And what's this about "limited resources"? Can't Obama just print up some more dough? It's raining dollars, let's hire lots of investigators . . . . I am also mystified by the notion that it is possible to figure out that some dangers are "real" and some are not. Didn't Congress do all the thinking for us already? Ms. Nord, get with the times!

I certainly hope this kind of thinking doesn't catch on. What would I do for amusement?

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