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Held Back: Unfinished CPSC Rules, Class of 2007

Although charged with creating rules to protect public safety, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is in no hurry to get to the finish line. The seven rules that the agency has been working on since 2004 or earlier have languished for an average of nearly 10 years, according to a new Public Citizen report, Held Back: Incomplete Consumer Product Safety Commission Rules, Class of 2007. These proposed rules cover hazards that the CPSC blames for more than 900 deaths and more than $460 million in property damage annually. The CPSC’s unfinished rules would reduce deaths, injuries and property damage from hazards such as bed rails, crib slats and baby bath seats that can suffocate, strangle or drown infants; excessively flammable upholstery, bed linens and clothes that are among the leading causes of fire-related death in U.S. homes; and cigarette lighters that, by the CPSC’s own analysis, fail to meet an industry-created voluntary standard at least 60 percent of the time.