Category Archives: Product Safety

DC Circuit Vacates CPSC Rule on Window Covering Cords

In a decision today, the DC Circuit vacated the CPSC’s safety standard for the operating cords on custom-made window coverings. Based on a finding that such cords pose a strangulation risk to young children, the rule, in the DC Circuit’s words, “essentially prohibit[ed] corded window products,” and the CPSC “set an aggressive timeline for industry […]

Read this article about Tesla’s autopilot feature

The Washington Post has done an analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showing 736 U.S. crashes since 2019 involving Tesla cars operating in autopilot mode. According to this article by Faiz Saddiqui and Jeremy Merrill, that’s far more Tesla autopilot crashes than previously revealed. The article discusses these findings in some detail and […]

“Chemical industry used big tobacco’s tactics to conceal evidence of PFAS risks”

The Guardian reports: “In 1953, a paper developed for cigarette maker RJ Reynolds detailed possible cancer-causing agents in tobacco, but the document would remain hidden from public view for decades. In the interim, the industry told the public: ‘We don’t accept the idea that there are harmful agents in tobacco.’ The chemical industry, it seemed, […]

“GOP efforts to protect gas stoves only burn consumers”

An op-ed by Sierra Club’s Jessica Tritsch’s starts: “A reasonable person would think that reducing strain on our energy infrastructure, bringing down consumer utility bills and protecting the health of kids would be issues that had bipartisan support, yet Congress is considering a pair of bills that would ensure the opposite. The so-called Save Our Gas […]

Third Circuit rejects J&J bankruptcy attempt to avoid liability to consumers

In a major decision today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to use bankruptcy to strictly curtail its liability for claims that talc in its consumer products caused cancer. As the Court explained: With mounting payouts and litigation costs, [J&J’s] Old Consumer [entity], through a series of […]

Fifth Circuit to consider e-cigarette marketing denial en banc

Tobacco companies have long fought regulatory action to protect consumer health and safety, and while there has been a shift from smokeable products to “e-cigarettes,” the legal battles continue. In 2016, the FDA issued a rule deeming e-cigarettes “new tobacco products,” and requiring manufacturers to submit premarket tobacco product applications (“PMTAs”) before they could sell […]

More on gas-stove policy

From Bloomberg: When a commissioner from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said earlier this month it would consider a ban on gas stoves to beat back greenhouse emissions and health hazards, the backlash was swift. Enraged Americans and conservative politicians were adamant about keeping their beloved appliance, and the agency renounced the possibility of a […]

“Forever chemicals” show regulatory failures

Writing for the Maine Monitor, Marina Schauffler observes: Going back in time can reveal how far we still have to progress. In researching per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for a recent article series, I found myself ricocheting between the present and the 1950s and 1960s. That was when the vast class of fluorinated compounds commonly […]

New tech products prompt privacy, consumer choice, and environmental concerns

The Washington Post reports that companies touting new tech products — including health wearables, smart TVs, autonomous vehicles, and other gadgets that rely on data from our bodies or homes — seldom directly address how they treat customer’s data after it’s collected or their approach to safety and security. The article is here.