November 29, 2007 The Pump Handle 6Comment

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, a group created by asbestos victims and their families, bought products from national retailers and had them tested at independent labs. One of the most disturbing findings was high levels of asbestos in powder from a toy CSI fingerprint kit. The powder is intended to be sprinkled on surfaces and […]

November 20, 2007 The Pump Handle 2Comment

By Paul D. Blanc The interconnections among toxic butter flavoring, fatal coal mine “bumps,” and tainted Barbie accessories may not be immediately obvious – but they all reflect the failures of an increasingly compromised U. S. regulatory apparatus. In early September, news broke that the artificial butter flavoring chemical diacetyl had caused severe lung disease […]

November 8, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Earlier this week, the Washington Post’s Elizabeth Williamson reported on industry-financed trips that Consumer Product Safety Commission chairs had taken. Today, she writes about other CPSC staff members (from both the Clinton and Bush administrations) who took such trips, and about proposed legislation spurred by the CPSC travel revelations. Meanwhile, eight new toy recalls have […]

October 30, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

We’ve been following the crescendo of stories illustrating the severe limitations of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (here, here, and here): CPSC lacks the resources to test products adequately, it can’t levy hefty enough fines to deter corporate wrongdoing, and it can announce a recall only through a news release that it negotiates with the […]

September 27, 2007 The Pump Handle

The recent recalls of dangerous toys and defective cribs have received a great deal of press attention, but closer analysis reveals that consumer product recalls are generally ineffective at getting most defective products out of consumers’ homes.

September 24, 2007 The Pump Handle

By David Michaels Most media coverage of Friday’s announcement by the Consumer Products Safety Commission and a crib manufacturer that one million cribs were being recalled missed the story behind the story. Stung by an avalanche of bad publicity on its failure to protect children from toys with lead paint or dangerous magnets, the CPSC […]

September 10, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

By David Michaels In a few short months, the country has awakened to several potential hazards associated with Chinese toys. Mattel and other manufacturers have already recalled millions of toys, some for lead paint and others because they contained magnets that, if swallowed, could cause severe injuries. Now, Louise Story of New York Times reports […]

July 16, 2007 The Pump Handle 1Comment

By David Michaels Gretchen Morgenson, the terrific New York Times reporter, has a disturbing piece that describes how the toothless Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has little ability to force hazardous consumer products of the shelves of toy stores. The focus of her report is on super powerful miniature toy magnets. They are candy colored […]