Online Payday Loans No Fax Online Payday Loans No Fax

CPSIA – Happy Pool and Spa Safety Week!

Happy Pool and Spa Safety Week! The CPSC this week strode bravely forth to combat pool fatalities in the United States – finally. I have written about swimming pool deaths in the past (as early as May 26, 2009 in this blog and earlier in letters to Congress). They are shocking in number. The CPSC says that deaths in pools and spas AVERAGE 385 children per year from, 2005-1007. Of this average, 299 victims were (on average) YOUNGER THAN FIVE YEARS OLD.

The childhood pool injury count is even more breathtaking. For pools, submersion injuries requiring emergency room treatment averages 4,200 children per year (47% were for two- and three-year-olds), or 46,200 projected submersion injuries to go with the projected 4,235 childhood drowning deaths over 11 years.

Whoa. This is shameful.

In the same 11-year period, CPSC recall data notes ONE death from lead and THREE injuries from lead. You read that right:

  • Pools: 4,235 drowning deaths and 46,200 injuries
  • Lead: 1 death and 3 injuries

There are no phthalates injuries on record.

The CPSIA addressed pool safety. A highly-publicized section of the CPSIA is known as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool And Spa Safety Act (the “Baker Act”). This law was implemented in response to the tragic pool drain entrapment death of the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker. The CPSC cites 11 fatalities from pool drain entrapment from 1999-2008. Over 11 years, at this rate, 12 pool drain entrapment deaths would be projected. The Baker Act dictates that pools replace their drain covers to avoid this awful risk. Not an unreasonable approach to a completely avoidable source of injury, at a relatively low cost. Good idea.

It is, however, apparent that the Baker Act does not address the overall massive risk of childhood pool drownings. Of the projected 4,235 deaths in an 11-year period, the Baker Act addresses the cause of only 12 deaths. That leaves the projected deaths of 4,223 children completely unaddressed by our ever-vigilant Congress.

Remember, according to my analysis, compliance costs for the CPSIA are about $10,000 per dollar of avoided lead injury costs. Each death is valued at $6.1 million using EPA estimates. The projected unaddressed pool drownings have a “cost” of $6.1 million x 4,223 = $25.8 Billion over 11 years. At the same rate of compliance costs incurred by the lucky companies attempting to comply with the lead rules, the pool industry would have to spend $10,000 per dollar of injury cost over 11 years, or a mere $257.6 trillion. At this rate of spend, the industry would only have to spend $23.4 trillion per annum which happens to be nearly double the projected 2010 U.S. GDP of $14.8 trillion.

But who’s counting?

And how did our Congress respond to the threat of childhood pool drownings? Surely they really threw the book at this terrible problem – it is literally thousands of times worse than lead. Ummm, well, they mandated a public awareness campaign (see Section 1407 of the Baker Act). The CPSC blitz is the effort to comply with this master plan: a press release, a new website and a “a first-of-its-kind national public education effort”. Apparently, all you need is a few ads and press releases to solve pool deaths.

Strangely, the CPSC is straying from their newly-adopted precautionary principles in this blitz. They actually recommend a strategy of “staying close, being alert, and watching children at the pool”. Huh, you’ve got to be kidding! That sounds a lot like individual responsibility. The CPSC even refers to the need for a “personal system of safety”. Being a good parent and keeping an eye on your kids is so “Old School”. I assumed that the CPSC had moved beyond such shallow advice. They would certainly never do that for lead. Of course not.

I should note that I have long considered the effort to combat pool deaths to be long overdue, so don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that the CPSC is actually doing something. Pool deaths claim WAY too many kids’ lives every year – we need to take a real threat like this very seriously. But please pardon my waves of nausea over the proportionality of the response. Pool deaths are expected to exceed 4,000 over 11 years (including more than 3,000 kids under five), and in response the CPSC puts up a new website and produces public service announcements with Olympic swimmers. Lead deaths are expected to be one or zero in the next 11 years – and we have to spend $5.6 billion every year in compliance costs.

This is terrible government in its purest form. It is indefensible and incomprehensible. I defy the Democrats to stand up and actually defend their policy positions or legislative solutions. They won’t debate the issue because it’s a total loser for them. The children’s product industry is collateral damage to the Dems’ reelection campaigns. Well, I won’t just grin and bear it. Falling on the sword for their ridiculous sound bites and reelection posturing is not how I plan to go out.

This is un-American. Happy Pool and Spa Safety Week.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Happy Pool and Spa Safety Week!

CPSIA – Request to Post 60 Minutes Videos

There is something you can do to help raise awareness of the ills of the CPSIA – post the 60 Minutes segment “Phthalates: Are They Safe?” in your blog or on your Facebook page or other social media pages. You can also tweet links to this content. You can lift the “embedding” links needed to place the videos from my blog. Alternatively, you can always go to the 60 Minutes website and take links from there.

We need to ring bells loudly about this segment. A nationally-prominent news outlet has finally decided to look at the issues of the CPSIA unemotionally and objectively. The more people that see this segment, the better!

Thanks.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Request to Post 60 Minutes Videos

CPSIA – 60 Minutes Transcript of "Phthalates: Are They Safe?"

The transcript of yesterday’s segment on phthalates may be found at this link.

Read more here:
CPSIA – 60 Minutes Transcript of "Phthalates: Are They Safe?"

CPSIA – Additional Data on Phthalates re 60 Minutes

The 60 Minutes report notes increased incidents of hypospadias, a birth defect affecting male sexual organs. Certain studies have linked this defect to phthalates, fanning the fears responsible for the noxious CPSIA. In the segment, a Dr. Howard Snyder of the The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia cites a “three-fold increase” in hypospadias in live male births in the last “30-40 years”. Dr. Snyder “suspects” that phthalates is the “something” that is interfering in the womb with the production of testosterone leading to hypospadias. He highlights studies that “seem to point to” phthalates as the cause of low sperm counts and other ills in adult males. Thus, the link to hypospadias, or so he says.

Time to panic?

Well, before you move back into the caves, please consider this May 2009 study published in the Journal of Urology on the incidents of hypospadias in New York State from 1992-2005 (previously posted in my blog one year ago). The purpose of the study was described as follows: “Recently there has been concern that [certain male sexual organ] abnormalities described in animal studies may also be present in humans. To determine if hypospadias rates are increasing, we retrospectively reviewed the total prevalence of hypospadias in New York State from 1992 to 2005, categorized by maternal age younger than 35 years and 35 years or older.” [See also this George Mason University analysis.]

You will be interested to know that one of the four authors of the Journal of Urology study is Dr. Sarah Lambert – of The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, apparently one of Dr. Snyder’s co-workers.

The authors conclude:

Hypospadias rates have NOT changed in New York State from 1992 to 2005. Additionally advanced maternal age continues to be a risk factor for hypospadias. Combined with previous studies that demonstrate sperm counts are NOT declining, these data suggest that the testicular dysgenesis syndrome described in animal models may not be evident in humans.” [Emphasis added]

One of the authors noted the significance of this study: “These studies break the link between the purported cause — phthalates — and their presumed effect — impaired male reproductive health, says Dr. Harry Fisch, director of the Male Reproductive Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and professor of clinical urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. ‘It’s all in the data,’ says Dr. Fisch. ‘For one, the entire method of collecting data on birth defects has changed. Statewide surveillance of birth defects has become the norm. This calls into question the value of the older data. Second,’ he adds, ‘we can’t assume that these chemicals are harmful at low, environmentally allowable levels just because we’ve seen high rates of exposure to phthalates in utero have been linked to hypospadias in animal studies.’” [Emphasis added]

Dr. Snyder seems to have overlooked some of these points.

The author of the study goes on to point out the obvious: “‘Environmental chemicals need to be regulated,’ says Dr. Fisch, ‘but policies should be based on science, not fear.’”

What, is he crazy? Who ever heard of regulating based on SCIENCE, NOT FEAR?! Some people . . . .

Memo to Senators Feinstein and Boxer: Given the fear that the increasing age of birth mothers today may be linked to rising birth defects, perhaps you should regulate when mothers can conceive children. This would be yet another great regulatory innovation from California. Groundbreaking!

Anyone think that’s too much government intrusion? Mr. Orwell, any thoughts? Darn, we all threw out our copies of “1984″ because we couldn’t be sure they were produced with lead-free ink.

This makes my head hurt. Wouldn’t it just be easier to drive the children’s product industry into bankruptcy? That’s probably a better way to deal with hypospadias.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Additional Data on Phthalates re 60 Minutes

CPSIA – Extra 60 Minutes Video Content on Phthalates


Watch CBS News Videos Online


Watch CBS News Videos Online


Watch CBS News Videos Online


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Read more here:
CPSIA – Extra 60 Minutes Video Content on Phthalates

CPSIA – 60 Minutes 5-23-10 Segment Video "Phthalates: Are They Safe?"


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Read more here:
CPSIA – 60 Minutes 5-23-10 Segment Video "Phthalates: Are They Safe?"

CPSIA – I Will Be Appearing on 60 Minutes This Sunday re CPSIA

I wanted to let you know that I will be featured as part of a 60 Minutes segment on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) phthalates ban. The segment will air this Sunday (May 23) on CBS and is entitled “Are They Safe?”. If you miss it, you can watch it later on the 60 Minutes website. This is a very important development in our continuing effort to force change in the CPSIA. 60 Minutes is the number one news program in the world and one of the most watched programs in the United States of any kind.

My interview was filmed last September at Learning Resources’ office. I was interviewed by Lesley Stahl for this feature. We have not seen the segment yet (we will see it when you see it). We are hopeful that 60 Minutes will draw attention to the doubtful and wasteful impact of this law on law-abiding companies like ours.

Get the popcorn ready – we’re going to have an interesting Sunday evening this week!

Rick

Read more here:
CPSIA – I Will Be Appearing on 60 Minutes This Sunday re CPSIA

CPSIA – At First, I Thought The Onion Was Trying to be Funny. . . .

I think this is a parody, not a real news report. At least I think so. . . .

News Report: Majority Of Government Doesn’t Trust Citizens Either
May 19, 2010 ISSUE 46•20
Senators protest against a public they say has become too bloated to efficiently populate the country.

WASHINGTON—At a time when widespread polling data suggests that a majority of the U.S. populace no longer trusts the federal government, a Pew Research Center report has found that the vast majority of the federal government doesn’t trust the U.S. populace all that much either.

According to the poll—which surveyed members of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches—9 out of 10 government officials reported feeling “disillusioned” by the populace and claimed to have “completely lost confidence” in the citizenry’s ability to act in the nation’s best interests.

“All the vitriol and partisan bickering in Congress has caused most Americans to form negative opinions of the U.S. government,” Pew researcher Amy Ratner said. “However, over the same time period, the government has likewise grown wary of U.S. citizens, largely due to their utter lack of foresight, laziness, and overall incompetence.”

Added Ratner, “And the fact that American Idol is still the No. 1 show on television doesn’t exactly make our government burst with confidence.”

Out of 100 U.S. senators polled, 84 said they don’t trust the U.S. populace to do what is right, and 79 said Americans are not qualified to do their jobs. Ninety-one percent of all government officials polled said they find citizens to be every bit as irresponsible, greedy, irrational, and selfishly motivated as government officials are.

Moreover, according to nearly 100 percent of respondents, Wal-Mart.

“It makes complete sense for Americans to lose faith in a government that has allowed lobbyists and special interests to take over Washington,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters. “That being said, you could see why Washington might likewise lose faith in a populace that apparently still suspects that its president is a secret Muslim who was not born in the United States.”

Citing the billions of dollars wasted annually on flavored water and boneless buffalo wings, the number of drunk-driving deaths each year, and the lack of citizen accountability for the rise of Kim Kardashian, government officials registered extremely low opinions of the American people overall.

“This is the same American populace that failed to prevent us from deregulating the banks that almost caused a complete economic meltdown last year,” Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) said. “Year after year, they elect terrible officials who make terrible decisions on their behalf. The fact that I, Jim Bunning, am a two-term U.S. senator really shows you just how far Americans have gone off the rails.”

“I wouldn’t trust anyone who voted me into office,” he added.

Government skepticism is not confined to legislators, though. A cross-sampling of the U.S. Supreme Court found that only 1 in 9 justices believe the general populace to be ethical. Their confidence that the American people can resist consuming the newest Burger King sandwich just because it’s there or at least keep it to one a week has also fallen to a 10-year low.

“They can’t even fill out their census forms, for crying out loud,” Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho said. “It’s only 10 questions long. We’re not talking about taking the SATs here. Jesus Christ, don’t get me started on the SATs.”

One typical respondent, President Barack Obama, said he found it hard to trust the judgment of U.S. citizens after recent events, including their decision to elect a president who promised health care reform and then come out against health care reform.

“How can I have hope for a nation that regularly protests tax cuts that directly benefit them?” Obama said. “Look, I’m not always perfect at my job, either, but I think I could make a halfway coherent comment on a YouTube video if I had to. Isn’t that basically all they do?

Added Obama, “At this point, the only positive thing I can say about the American people is that I’m pretty sure they’ve never rigged an election in their favor.”

Read more here:
CPSIA – At First, I Thought The Onion Was Trying to be Funny. . . .

CPSIA – The CPSC Sweats Out A Stay

The CPSC is on the hot seat over its testing and certification stay . . . again. As you may recall, the CPSC first postponed mandatory testing just ahead of its scheduled implementation in February 2009. On January 30, 2009, the Commission acted to push out the effectiveness of the CPSIA testing and certification requirement by one year, to February 10, 2010. Then-Acting Chairman Nancy Nord noted that the stay “provides breathing space to get in place some of the rules needed for implementation”.

Well, that didn’t work, so on December 17, 2009, the Commission again pushed out the testing and certification effectiveness date to February 10, 2011. This early action was done in recognition of industry’s need for to plan for changes in requirements. Nonetheless, Dems on the Commission bemoaned the need to extend the stay:

Robert Adler: “While I had originally hoped the Commission and the marketplace would both be prepared for the lifting of this stay of enforcement, after thorough consultation with CPSC staff and stakeholders in both industry and the public health community, I believe an extension of another six months is necessary to permit market adjustments, especially with respect to the testing and certification by the suppliers of components. I respectfully disagree, however, with my colleagues who have chosen to extend the stay beyond August 10, 2010. While there will be some disruption in the marketplace no matter which date is chosen, no hard evidence has been brought to my attention that would require an even longer extension of this stay than two years from the passage of this landmark legislation. I recognize that others feel differently.”

Perhaps Mr. Adler has uncovered some “hard evidence” by now. Scroll forward six months and things aren’t going the CPSC’s way. While the Commission may have thought it reserved enough time for everyone to “adjust” to the testing requirements, in fact things are getting worse. Rules are piling higher and higher, and are still being issued and changed. Many people don’t feel the rules are survivable. Dan Marshall of the HTA testified at the April 29th hearing that his organization sees the CPSEA (the Waxman Amendment) as their only chance to survive the lifting of the testing stay. [My opinion - the Waxman Amendment won't help the HTA at all.]

More recently, the HTA sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee stating: “Finally, we hope to settle any confusion regarding our intent in endorsing the CPSEA. We endorsed it as our only available alternative. We truly believe that many of our members will be forced out of business after February 10, 2011 without meaningful, clear reform provided by your committee. . . . You hold the livelihoods of hundreds of small businesses in your hands.

Ouch.

Not surprisingly, there is mounting background pressure on the CPSC to push out the testing stay for another year. Nevertheless, I surmise that Dems on the Commission would rather eat dirt (40 ppm lead) than take this step. They invested a lot of political capital in the last stay extension, and despite the promulgation of (literally) reams of regulations, still haven’t put in place a workable regulatory scheme yet. Retailers are telling the CPSC privately that without prompt relief from the CPSC or Congress, they are going to have to start turning the screws on their suppliers as though the stay won’t be lifted. Hmmm.

The pressure is building, building. It doesn’t help that Waxman and his supporters won’t budge an inch on their proposed CPSIA amendment. By moving in a pack led by Waxman, the Dems are collectively taking full ownership of the awful consequences of the law.

And what if the Commission capitulates and extends the stay? That’s good for the industry and the HTA, certainly, but it’s political suicide for the Dems. They face a real Hobson’s Choice. If the stay is extended, it will be taken as an admission that the CPSIA simply cannot be implemented. That would really stick it to Mr. Waxman, patron of the Dems on the Commission. After all, if the law isn’t “ready” for full implementation for FOUR YEARS, it’s logical to conclude the CPSIA won’t ever work, that it was fundamentally flawed from the beginning. [Where have I heard that before???] If the Commission declines to extend the stay, manufacturers and retailers will light the world afire over the pain and losses being foisted needlessly on them. HTA members and other small businesses will start to close down. Ugly. The choice is lose-lose.

The stakes are even higher for the Dems, if you take into account Mr. Waxman’s REAL baby, TSCA reform. The Dems have a big target in mind, the “reform” of chemical regulation in this country. Put simply, they want to roll out CPSIA-style regulation to all things chemical, including plastics and all mixtures of chemicals. This scares a lot of people, given the permi-chaos dogging CPSIA precautionary regulation of only two substances (lead and phthalates). Arguably, the CPSIA was just a trial balloon for TSCA reform. Ramp up the CPSIA by 30,000 times and you have TSCA reform. If the Dems give an inch on the CPSIA, they fear their hopes for TSCA reform will go down the drain. The children’s product industry is caught in the middle of a historic fight over how we Americans regulate ourselves.

If you are frustrated by the stalemate over the Waxman Amendment, I think you need to keep an eye on the testing stay. Every day that passes, the pressure mounts on the Waxmanis and the Commission. What’s the right thing to do? They sweat and they sweat . . . while we roast.

Read more here:
CPSIA – The CPSC Sweats Out A Stay

CPSIA – Numbers Don’t Lie (2nd Update – An Upside Down World)

I have previously reported that my study of reported lead recalls over the past 11 years shows that there has been ONE reported death, the widely-discussed Jarnell Brown who died after swallowing a lead jewelry charm in Minnesota. This single death, plus three injuries, is the entire database of injuries reported by the CPSC from lead and lead-in-paint in the past 11 years. That’s it.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that data from the EPA sets the economic “value” of a human life at $6.1 million. Whether that number is high or low, it’s a good placeholder for an economic analysis of the CPSIA. [The EPA originally set this figure for an economic analysis of one of its rules.] According to federal rules governing regulations issued by the EPA, the benefits of a regulation must outweigh its costs. Therefore, as the NYT reports, if you save one life (worth $6.1 million) with a new regulation that imposes a compliance cost of $8 million, the regulation is illegal and must be withdrawn.

I wonder if this analysis would give us any insights into the CPSIA. . . .

Another relevant data point from the NYT article is that one IQ point lost to lead poisoning is worth $8,346 over a lifetime. That’s a real figure – think of the cost and disruption imposed on the children’s product industry to avoid the POSSIBILITY of the loss of an IQ point. Consider that the CPSC has reported three injuries from lead-in-paint in 11 years – that’s 3 x $8,346 = $25,038 in “damages” in lost IQ points or a little over $2,200 per year.

Even this miniscule cost is conjectural as I am simply not aware of a single, PROVEN case of lead poisoning from a children’s product. The victims assert a link between their (often undocumented) lead poisoning and the offending children’s product – but the causal link is rarely if ever challenged or conclusively verified. Even the consequences of the (asserted) lead poisoning is itself conjectural – although I am not defending lead poisoning. It is not certain, however, that lead poisoning always leads to long term problems or diminished capacity. [This issue gives fresh perspective on the recent policy of the CPSC to recall ALL lead-in-paint violations, a strict liability standard. This almost certainly violates the "substantial product hazard" standard that governs the ability of the CPSC to issue recalls as a matter of law. CPSC leadership should be held accountable for this change in policy in violation of the "substantial product hazard" statutory standard.]

On the basis of this very doubtful data, my entire industry has been trashed.

Let’s do the math on the CPSIA: In 11 years, one death ($6.1 million) and three IQ points ($25,000) = total cost $6.1 million. On other side of the ledger, the HTA estimates that the ANNUAL cost to test products for compliance with the CPSIA is $5.63 billion. The all-in cost is probably higher by a factor of 2-3x, but the HTA number is fine for illustration purposes. At this rate, ignoring the likely impact of inflation, the 11-year projected cost to comply with the CPSIA would be not less than $61.9 BILLION.

Spend $61.9 billion, save $6.1 million. In other words, thanks to the wondrous CPSIA, Americans spend $1,000 on “safety” to save a buck in injury costs. This is the legislative scheme that your Congressional Dem leaders have been fighting tooth-and-nail to preserve intact for the last two years.

The Dems want you to spend $1,000 to save a dollar. They won’t give an inch and have stubbornly refused to listen to reason for two years. The illegality and remarkable fiscal irresponsibility of this regulatory scheme doesn’t impress them. They tell us there’s no safe level for lead . . . but the real danger appears to be that there is no safe level of Democrats in our government.

November, November. Mr. Waxman, go ahead and fiddle while Rome burns. We’ll see you and your colleagues in the voting booth.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Numbers Don’t Lie (2nd Update – An Upside Down World)

Next Page »