Monday January 01, 2018
Kaye Worries about Chronic Hazard Activity
CPSC Commissioner Elliot Kaye in December voiced concern about the agency's approach to potential chronic hazards, both generally and specifically.
His broader comments were framed by CPSC's FY2018 Operating Plan, and they dealt with his perception of a shift towards the needs of industry. This involved not just chronic hazards, but other issues as well. He wrote (bit.ly/2Cfh00z):
"I would like to note that I do see an ever-so-slight shift in our priorities in this year's Operating Plan. Less mandatory rulemaking and research on chronic hazards, and more resources for voluntary standards efforts and to train the regulated community. This drift away from safety is a disconcerting development."
"The idea of economic development is a critical mission. It is just not the CPSC's mission. To paraphrase what former CPSC Commissioner Thomas Moore famously said a number of years ago, 'We're not the Business Protection Bureau.' I wholeheartedly agree with him. We're not an economic development council. That is a very valid, legitimate and important function for the United States government to pursue. However, those activities are just not what this Commission is supposed to be doing."
Elsewhere, he listed (bit.ly/2DxagIh) what he deemed to be seven "severe flaws" in ASTM's F3188 standard on synthetic turf infill materials while also raising concern about the slowness and continuation of an interagency effort that is looking at such products. He wrote:
"We cannot lose sight of the fact that there is a better and more productive path forward for our nation than relying only on this standard. After an unconscionable delay, the government finally began last year a legitimate and comprehensive interagency study of this critical safety question. This interagency task force published a status report in December 2016. One year later, this effort must remain a genuine federal government priority so that parents can know without worry that their children can use these spaces to safely play, grow, develop and to help reach their full potential."
The federal project is in a data-gathering phase, with work planned through 2018 (PSL, 2/27/17). Meanwhile, a separate California effort is slated to run through 2019 (PSL, 3/20/17). CPSC is aiding both.