Thursday, January 14, 2010

CPSIA - Washington Post Says Cadmium Issue is Overblown

Tell me it's not true - we can't panic about cadmium anymore?! The Washington Post thinks the CPSC may have gone a bit too far in demanding that every American throw away all their children's jewelry based on a newspaper article they read somewhere: "Very little is known about cadmium's potential health effects on children, [Dr. John Rosen, chief of environmental sciences at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx] says, because it's never been known to be a problem, 'Pediatricians don't look for it, they aren't knowledgeable about it, and there are not any particular concerns about it.'" [Emphasis added]

The Post concludes: "So, while this is certainly no matter to pooh-pooh, and it's important for the government to take whatever steps it must to keep poisonous metals out of the marketplace, it doesn't sound like occasion to panic, either." [Emphasis added]

We knew that Senators are absolutely ignorant of science so their foolishness can be understood, but what about the CPSC? Aren't they on a different level? In the olde days, the CPSC used its professionals for their highly-refined expertise. Today, the staff brainiacs are used to bureaucratically shovel paper from one end of their desk to the other, or to practice falling in line. The folks at the top, the (Democrat) politicians, seem to have the same mastery of science as their Congressional overlords and a similar disregard for the consequences of their actions.

So Inez Tenenbaum went on a media blitz, ably assisted by her associate Scott Wolfson, and SLAMMED the jewelry industry. They had seemingly done virtually no homework (if reading an AP story doesn't count as "research"), neglecting to take advice from the many Ph.D.s that they employ, and went ahead with an astoundingly irresponsible spree of rulemaking on the fly. And the consequences to them?

There's the rub - there won't be any. But there should be. This kind of tort is remediable in the private sector with lawsuits and damages. Not sure how easy it would be to prosecute such high ranking public officials for their conclusion-jumping. We can certainly count on our fearless leader Obama to COMMEND them for their precautionary actions. Surely by putting the jewelry industry out of business, they must have saved lives . . . somewhere. The nice thing about these folks, if they can assert it, it's "true". Or true enough.

What a sorry episode, and even with the Post on record with a calming and balanced summary of cadmium's risks, the train already left the station. Expect the next attempt at an amendment to the CPSIA to include dramatic restrictions on cadmium. Congress will save us, don't worry.

Hey, science is overrated. Trust me.

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