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CPSIA – Hypocrisy on Display

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum was home in South Carolina last week and made an appearance to commemorate a new State ATV safety law known as ” Chandler’s Law “.  This law is supported, even encouraged, by the ATV industry.  Notes Paul Vitrano of the SVIA, “Chandler’s Law is a major step in the right direction. It’s something to be celebrated and we extend sincere thanks to everyone involved in its enactment. But there’s much more work to be done in South Carolina and all over America. ATVs are safe when used properly, but they are not toys. No responsible parent would hand the keys to the family car over to their child and send them on their way.” [Emphasis added] ATVs are not toys.  But ATVs are regulated by the CPSIA as though they are toys.  Notably, as a consequence of the CPSIA, access to youth-model ATVs has been all but eliminated .  Incredibly, there is still NOT ONE test lab certified by the CPSC to test ATVs for compliance either.  Testimony to this effect was given at the February 16th CPSC hearing at which I appeared.  Jay Howell of the CPSC acknowledged that the expense of testing ATVs cannot apparently be recovered by labs because there are so few youth model ATVs left on the market.  No lab wants to invest for testing at a loss.  The market speaks?  The absence of youth model ATVs from the market also means that they are not being rented out.  Rental and sales are the same thing under the CPSIA.  They’re gone. Interestingly, Chandler’s Law prohibits children under 16 from riding adult-sized ATVs.   If you can connect even two dots, you will realize that this is a tacit ban on children riding ATVs.  Period.  This is the secret agenda of the consumer group zealots like the former AAP majordomo Cindy Pelligrini as she admitted at a meeting of stakeholders with the House Energy and Commerce Committee staff on January 6, 2011.   So in other words, the consumer groups have a political agenda that they cannot accomplish via direct legislation – taking away ATVs from your kids, even using youth model ATVs developed at the request of the CPSC.  ATV riding is too popular regionally for a ban to ever pass Congress - so the consumer groups obtained their objective under the cover of darkness with the CPSIA and sympathetic Dem plants on the CPSC Commission.  And here’s the hypocrisy of Ms. Tenenbaum on public display.   Appearing to herald the restrictions on youth access to adult-sized ATVs, Ms. Tenenbaum does not mention that she is ALSO responsible for the removal of youth-model ATVs from the market and that Chandler’s Law essentially implements a ban on ATV use by children under 16 years of age in South Carolina.  Had she admitted it, the publicity storm would have been bad for South Carolina legislators and Dems all over the country.  She’ll never breathe a word. Not unlike the rest of the CPSIA mess, the reality is kept beneath a cloak, out of sight.  You will only notice, if you ever do, when you go to the store and try to buy something wonderful that you have used safely in the past . . . and it’s gone.  Where did it go?  The self-appointed ” fun suckers ” have been there first.  Youth model ATVs – they’re against them.  Trampolines, backyard pools, fireworks, rhinestones, brass instruments  - all too “dangerous” for you to be allowed to use.  They know what’s best, and you should be thankful. It’s our country but they’re running it.  When are you going to do something about it?  After three years, you don’t have much time left to figure it out.

See the article here:
CPSIA – Hypocrisy on Display

CPSIA – ECADA Manager’s Amendment

Here is the Manager’s amendment to the CPSIA Amendment (ECADA).  [Essentially changes offered by Mary Bono Mack.] The changes apparently include changes in lead in jewelry (age limits), removal of testing requirement for inaccessible components for phthalates, removing toys from outdoor recreational products and adding “class of products” to functional purpose exclusion process.

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CPSIA – ECADA Manager’s Amendment

CPSIA – ECADA (CPSIA Amendment) Full House Committee Mark-up Tomorrow

Representative Mary Bono-Mack introduced the CPSIA Amendment (ECADA) yesterday.  The bill is known as H.R. 1939  and was co-sponsored by Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  The mark-up will begin at 4 PM EST on May 25 with opening statements.  The vote on the bill is likely to occur on Thursday at 10 AM EST. The majority staff memo supporting the bill can be found here . Fingers crossed!  We need the poker game to end with bipartisan support for sensible reform of a misconceived bill that has damaged uncountable companies and marketplaces.  Safety is NOT a zero sum game.  Mr. Waxman must table the issue and let this bill move forward with his support.

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CPSIA – ECADA (CPSIA Amendment) Full House Committee Mark-up Tomorrow

CPSIA – More Good News and Bad News

We trust our government, right?

CPSIA – Another Update on How VERY Safe We Are

I want to bring you up-to-date on the nuclear situation in Japan, but first a quick reminder – none of this matters BECAUSE there is no lead in plutonium or the other radioactive elements being discharged in tremendous mass into the air, water and soil by the disabled Fukushima reactors.

CPSIA – Health and Safety Update

More fascinating revelations from Japan today.

CPSIA – AAP, Get a Calculator!

In my continuing exploration of the misuse of data by consumer groups to prove up the “need” for the CPSIA, it occurred to me that Dr. Dana Best of the American Academy of Pediatrics can’t multiply. She needs a new calculator.

Just an aside: Japanese government officials announced today that radiation OUTSIDE the disabled reactors at Fukushima have now reached LETHAL levels:

“Water in an underground trench outside the No. 2 reactor had levels exceeding 1 sievert an hour, a spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. told reporters in the capital today. Thirty minutes of exposure to that dose would trigger nausea and four hours might lead to death within two months, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Preventing the most-contaminated water from leaking into the ground or air is key to containing the spread of radiation beyond the plant. A partial meltdown of fuel rods in the No. 2 reactor probably caused a jump in the readings, Japan’s chief government spokesman said today. ‘There’s not much good news right now,’ said Gennady Pshakin, a former IAEA official based in Obninsk, the site of Russia’s first nuclear power plant.” [Emphasis added]

The Japanese situation is a real crisis. The AAP wants you to think lead is also a crisis. It’s not.

In my post yesterday, I reported on Dr. Dana Best’s testimony in front of the CPSC Commission on February 16th about the purported effects of even trace amounts of lead on the intelligence of our children. While Dr. Best speaks for the AAP on occasion, I know that she doesn’t always write her own testimony. Sometimes she reads words written by other people under her own name. In the Spring of 2008, I went looking for Dana Best, and in response to a voicemail I left at her office, Cindy Pelligrini of the AAP called me back. Dana Best never called me back. I was calling in reference to the then pending Illinois lead labeling law which was being propelled by Dr. Best’s seminal House testimony on lead (September 20, 2007). In that phone conversation, Ms. Pelligrini acknowledged to me that she had written the September 20th testimony, not Dr. Best, and as a consequence, was the “right person” to talk about its contents. Ms. Pelligrini’s qualifications to write House testimony on lead on behalf of a professional association of pediatricians? According to her in our conversation, she holds a degree in political science. She is not a doctor and she is not a scientist as far as I know.

So is it surprising then that Dr. Best got all tangled up in numbers in the recent CPSC testimony? As I noted yesterday, Dr. Best asserted the following: “When averaged across even a modest population of children, the public health harm caused by lead is significant. Considering that there are about 75 million children in our nation, impacting one-half of one percent of all children would mean an exposure of 3.75 million children. . . . For one million children, [the loss of lifetime income from one IQ point per child] would total over $8.3 billion.” [Emphasis added]

Okay, let’s break out our calculators and check Dr. Best’s math. 75 million x 0.005 = 375,000. Oops! Didn’t she say that “one-half of one percent of all children” is 3.75 million kids? Hmmm.

[Sidebar - she's almost right about the population of kids, but not quite. According to childstats.gov, there were 75.2 million children living in the U.S. in 2010. Of course, only 50.4 million were under 12 years of age, basically the age bracket covered by the CPSIA. This is not a calculator error, this is just more junk statistics from a so-called "expert". I hope the CPSC Commission employs a fact checker!]

I think that’s a big difference. 3.75 million children is 1-in-20 but 375,000 is 1-in-200 (based on a population of 75 million children, an inflated number). Using the more realistic population number of about 50 million, Dr. Best’s 3.75 million number is 1-in-13 children. Dr. Best’s number suggests that there is likely to be two or more lead poisoning victims in EVERY classroom of children in our country. Do you believe that?

Give me a break. The problem is that there are many people out there who might believe this nonsense. Some of them may be your elected representatives.

Dr. Best goes on to “illustrate” the scope of the “cost” of this poisoning, all based on her assumption of 1-in-13 children losing IQ points. She illustrates the “cost” to society of the loss of a single IQ point on a seemingly “modest” population of 1 million children. [Don't forget, she hasn't produced even ONE victim yet.] Since she is apparently severely math-challenged, let me help you here. One million children is (roughly) 2% of the age range covered by the CPSIA. In other words, it’s about 1-in-50 kids. Her “modest” assumption implies at least one brain-damaged child in every other classroom in America, all because of lead-in-substrate in children’s products. Her illustration is intended to show that the incredibly “high” cost of the purported lead epidemic justifies the extreme measures of the CPSIA to eliminate lead down to trace levels in children’s products.

Do you believe her? Why, exactly? If there are so many damaged children from lead-in-substrate in children’s products, why can’t the AAP come up with a few and show real case histories? Why won’t they talk about real data?

I am not impressed. The AAP holds itself out as an “expert” but puts out junk statistics to back up junk science recommendations. We are being scammed.

You MUST demand of your Congress that they won’t be fooled. The age of junk science needs to be brought to an end! Let your voices be heard!

Read more here:
CPSIA – AAP, Get a Calculator!

CPSIA – Turns Out that the Government CAN Assert Preemption

And you thought state regulation of children’s products was a fait accompli, nothing we can do about it. The proliferation of state safety regulations is a major hindrance to interstate commerce and puts small and medium-sized businesses in a very risky position. Who can possibly master the federal system of safety laws and regulations plus 38 states’ own unique versions (plus the EU, plus Canada, plus Japan, plus . . . plus . . . plus)? No one.

The CPSIA addressed this mess by ENCOURAGING IT. The law does not preempt a variety of state laws relating to the safety of children’s products. Among the notable laws so exempted, California’s Proposition 65 is especially troubling. That said, I cannot recall a single word of a single state children’s product safety law that has been preempted by the federal government. It’s the Wild West out there.

Worse yet, this subject is among the many that are “off limits”. In other words, we are advised to keep our opinions on preemption to ourselves for risk of “offending” the controlling Democratic party. The non-preemption of state laws that conflict with the CPSIA, CPSA and policy and regulations of the CPSC are to be tolerated, I guess. We have no say in this. Like so many things nowadays . . . .

Aha, but when the liberals don’t like the action of the states, well then preemption is apparently a viable option. So today the federal government decided to take action against the Arizona immigration law. [I am a minority and am generally fearful of government rules that encroach on protections for minorities. Of course, like most of the media and America at large, I haven't read the Arizona law. So while I am directionally in favor of knocking it out, I freely admit I don't know much about this controversy other than the things I have gleaned from other people's analysis.] So I guess preemption is a viable option . . . if the motivation is there.

The federal complaint makes many compelling assertions about the value and importance of preemption in the case of immigration law . . . and many of these assertions could just as easily be levied against state regulation of children’s products. It will never happen, of course, because that might offend the “public interest groups” behind the CPSIA. Besides, who can trust companies anyhow . . . .

Some pertinent quotes (emphasis added):

“In our constitutional system, the federal government has preeminent authority to regulate immigration matters. This authority derives from the United States Constitution and numerous acts of Congress. . . . The Constitution and the federal immigration laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country.

“The federal government, moreover, welcomes cooperative efforts by states and localities to aid in the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. But the United States Constitution forbids Arizona from supplanting the federal government’s immigration regime with its own state-specific immigration policy – a policy that, in purpose and effect, interferes with the numerous interests the federal government must balance when enforcing and administering the immigration laws and disrupts the balance actually established by the federal government.”

“In crafting federal immigration law and policy, Congress has necessarily taken into account multiple and often competing national interests. . . . The laws also take into account other uniquely national interests, including facilitating trade and commerce . . . .”

“Because S.B. 1070, in both its singularly stated purpose and necessary operation, conflicts with the federal government’s balance of competing objectives in the enforcement of the federal immigration laws, its passage already has had foreign policy implications for U.S. diplomatic relations with other countries, including Mexico and many others. S.B. 1070 has also had foreign policy implications concerning specific national interests regarding national security, drug enforcement, tourism, trade, and a variety of other issues. . . . Numerous other states are contemplating passing legislation similar to S.B. 1070.”

The Feds have noted that the patchwork of local laws would likely prove highly disruptive to efforts to coordinate a national policy on this topic. They are apparently fearful that the Arizona law will lead to many more just like it in other states. Among other reasons to fear the new immigration laws, local laws can have international implications and can hurt trade. I think I know what they are getting at . . . . Consider the market effects of the noxious Proposition 65 and the truly awful and frightening Green Chemistry initiative oozing forth from California in our direction. The case for this preemption lawsuit is eerily similar to the case for preemption of local safety laws. Unfortunately, we will never get this help unless the Feds decide that the system is so out-of-whack that a lawsuit must be filed. With Dems in charge of Congress who are the blood brothers of consumer groups, this will NEVER happen. Too bad for us.

I feel the federal government’s pain on the Arizona law. Too bad they don’t feel mine.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Turns Out that the Government CAN Assert Preemption

CPSIA – Cadmium Crisis Explained

Scratching your head about the mounting crisis over cadmium? Let’s see, the CPSC declares the Shrek glasses “not toxic” but still pushes for a recall of these safe products “in an abundance of caution”. Apparently, the CPSC either believes that perfectly safe products should be recalled in an abundance of caution or that they themselves can’t figure out what’s “dangerous” anymore. Not a single article or a single person to my knowledge has identified a single injury caused by cadmium in a consumer product – EVER.

[Oops, SORRY, there is a consumer product closely associated with cadmium intake: " Tobacco smoking is the most important single source of cadmium exposure in the general population. . . . The absorption of cadmium from the lungs is much more effective than that from the gut, and as much as 50% of the cadmium inhaled via cigarette smoke may be absorbed. On average, smokers have 4-5 times higher blood cadmium concentrations and 2-3 times higher kidney cadmium concentrations than non-smokers. . . . No significant effect on blood cadmium concentrations could be detected in children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke." Time to stop smoking, guys - that's big news, apparently.]

Of course, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the people who are terrorizing America over cadmium are the very same people who are pushing for deep and invasive regulation of all chemicals throughout our society. It’s the anti-chemicals crowd behind the cadmium panic. Mr. Waxman’s big goal is the reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Arguably, the CPSIA is the opening shot in his TSCA battle, which explains his utter intransigence in the face of well-documented catastrophes caused by the CPSIA. Cadmium is perfect for that purpose, especially since no one seems to understand the nature of the threat. Just mention cadmium and “bone softening” and the media and politicians melt.

Anyhow, I was wondering how cadmium became so scary. I realize that cadmium is dangerous under certain limited circumstances – but so are many other things that Americans like to use, such as fire, water . . . and guns. It is obviously time for some research. To help you out, I have provided many useful links below. The history of cadmium is VERY revealing. Here’s what I found out:

The discovery of cadmium came long after Rachel Weintraub and Henry Waxman attended school. Back in the olde days when they were educated, the Periodic Table had a different look:


In those days, when chemistry teachers taught the periodic table, position 48 was known as Puppy Dogs. Chemistry instructors typically explained that this element was responsible for sunshine, candy, love and (of course) puppy dogs. Everything that was good and sweet in our idyllic lives were attributable to Puppy Dogs. Element 48, also known as “Smiley Face”, was always the element children liked best. Most lessons were taught staring dreamily out the window at the playground, watching small children frolic and play. Puppy Dogs was good stuff.

The role of Puppy Dogs in our lives and the American Way was a foundation belief in the scientific community for many years.

Later, science took a dark turn. In 2007, scientists in Congress discovered to their horror that lead (Pb) was not only present on the periodic table just two squares away from Puppy Dogs but that lead was a contaminant in certain consumer products. At this time, science had not advanced far enough for Congressional scientists to know that lead has been on the Earth since creation and is found in everything including our food, water and air. Once Congressional scientists were able to detect trace levels of lead in consumer products, a specialist in the Top Secret Congressional Skunk Works connected the dots – “What about kids? If they play with Puppy Dogs, it’s just two squares away from LEAD!” This is what prompted passage of the CPSIA.

Am I being too science-y? Sorry.

As you know, science marches on and in a very recent 2010 development, scientists at the Consumer Federation of America, led by Rachel Weintraub, and at the CPSC discovered that Puppy Dogs was actually NOT the 48th element. After urgent research into how sunlight was created if not by Puppy Dogs, cadmium was discovered accidentally when someone pulled on their earlobe while deep in thought.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about this Nobel Prize winning discovery:

“Cadmium is a chemical element with the symbol Cd and atomic number 48. Cadmium represents a low point in American science education. In a little known provision of the “Treaty of the Meter” signed by the United States in 1878 signalling the promising beginning of the metric movement in our country, the 48th position of the periodic table was deemed to be a Smiley Face and called “Puppy Dogs”. American science, never questioning this regulation, eventually traced the origins of sunshine and love back to this phantom element. In early 2010, scientists at the U.S. House of Representatives noticed that lead (Pb) was located near Puppy Dogs on the periodic table, and in a rapid series of science-y experiments, determined that Puppy Dogs was actually a soft, bluish-white metal chemically similar to the two other metals in group 12, zinc and mercury. Frighteningly, experiments have determined that cadmium, if dumped into a river in massive quantities as mining run-off over a period of decades, will cause bone softening in nearby populations (“Ouch-Ouch Sickness” is also known as one of the Four Big Pollution Diseases of Japan).”

So that brings you up-to-date on cadmium, bone softening and toxicity. I hope this helps you understand why your Congress and the CPSC are trying to save you from dangerous cadmium. Apparently, you need a lot of “saving”. In my case, I am just going to stop drinking from rivers downstream from WWII mining operations in Japan. That should probably be enough protection for me.

Read more here:
CPSIA – Cadmium Crisis Explained