Note the tone of the following excerpt from this letter:
Moreover, I encourage you to guard against accepting revised requirements that would continue to allow strangulation risks in window coverings out of a misplaced desire for convenience, aesthetics, or placating anyone who may wish to continue moving slowly, rather than proactively addressing this longstanding problem once and for all. I reaffirm to you my call for a comprehensive revised voluntary standard that eliminates-not just reduces-the strangulation risks from window coverings.
(sorry for any typos as the source document is protected from text selection)
The Wall Street Journal points out:
Pulling strings for Ms. Tenenbaum is Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, who has inserted language into a financial appropriations bill that would allow the CPSC to write new mandatory regulations for the blinds industry without having to go through the usual procedures. Under the 1972 Consumer Product Safety Act, enacting mandatory regulations requires the CPSC to provide data showing that voluntary standards aren't working, as well as some reasonable cost-benefit analysis.In October 2011 news, Horizon Shades by B&W Window Fashions (1705 Waukegan Rd. • Waukegan, IL 60085 • Phone 800-858-2352 • Fax 800-858-8556) launched a patent pending, first cordless standard window shade. The window shade happens to be targeted at eliminating safety hazards to children. Marketwatch.com has the full story on this product backed by crony capitalism. I wonder if ties between Durbin, Tenenbaum and donors at B & W Window Fashions will be uncovered?
That's a fairly high bar, and one the CPSC would be unlikely to clear in this instance. So under Mr. Durbin's plan, the CPSC would instead be able to create mandatory regulations through the unorthodox use of an easier standard in the Administrative Procedures Act. Abracadabra, political problem solved.
The CPSC estimates that about 12 children a year die in accidents with window blinds. Every death or injury of a child is tragic, but the risk posed by blinds is dwarfed by other common dangers. According to Consumer Reports, more than 5,000 children a year are injured or killed falling out of open windows and through window screens. Electrical outlets also pose a risk, but no one has suggested removing those through regulation.
UPDATE: 2011: Sheila Decoster, 62, died from asphyxiation after falling head first into a recycling bin at her home in Toledo, Ohio. When will the CPSC fight for the elimination of these safety hazards? The blue bins ARE RECYCLING PEOPLE!