Our Government at Work: CPSC Avoids Lead-Laden Glass Recall By Redefining Audience


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Our Government at Work: CPSC Avoids Lead-Laden Glass Recall By Redefining Audience Listen to this article

Our Government at Work: CPSC Avoids Lead-Laden Glass Recall By Redefining Audience
Image courtesy of the AP

When you think of the target audience for 10-ounce featuring colorful images of characters from the Wizard of Oz or a variety of well-known super heroes, would you say the audience is:

  • (a) Under the age of 12
  • (b) Over the age of 12

If you guessed (b), then you are thinking along the same lines as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the government agency set up to help keep consumers safe.

When the test results showing the glasses had 1000 times (!) the level allowed in a product for children back in September, the CPSC stated that the products were for children and therefore needed to follow those guidelines. That would have involved a recall and ban of products, amongst other things. In fact, the importer of the glasses already took steps to pull them from the market and began working with the CPSC on a formal recall.

But now things are different. From the story at Yahoo!:

“After thoughtful analysis by child behavior experts at CPSC, it has been determined that the glasses are not children’s products,” Wolfson said Friday. He added that “the size, weight, packaging and price of the glasses sampled by CPSC are consistent with glasses more commonly used for consumption of adult beverages.”
But Wolfson went on to say: “These glasses are not primarily intended for use by a child 12 or younger. … Since these glasses are not intended for use by young children, it is recommended that parents not provide them to children to use.”

Why the change? “Wolfson said CPSC staff didn’t have the glasses in hand when the agency declared them children’s products.”

Now I love the Wizard of Oz, and have made my frothy Star Wars fanboy status no secret … but WHAT?!? Even before I read the whole report I could see where this was going – these are for collectors, not kids. And here we go:

The importer of the Chinese-made glasses had insisted they were targeted to adult collectors. AP bought them at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank, Calif.; at Warner Brothers’ online store, they were sold next to children’s T-shirts and lunchboxes, while they were touted as perfect for kids on another website.

I think that there are products – even things in the shapes of food-consumption items – that could easily be seen as ‘for collectors’. Those little spoons from different states, for example. But I remember the jelly jar drinking glasses from Welches as a kid, something that goes all the way back to the 1950s. We loved those, and checked out what our friends and relatives had in their houses. When visiting we would try to get one we didn’t have at home to use.

For Collectors? Naw, I’m not buying it. The CPSC is SUPPOSED to put the interests of children first, and the very fact that in multiple places these are marketed as a children’s product means that that it is de facto a children’s product. I am all for getting government out of the hair of business, but since we also know that myriad products made in China are shipping with whatever levels of whatever un-banned poisons they can get away with … this seems like the right place for some oversight. And you really don’t need to step beyond common sense here – a drinking glass with images of beloved children’s characters being sold alongside other children’s products at the primary retailer is pretty much by definition a children’s product.

What is the next non-children’s product … Barbie? Nerf? Fisher Price toddler toys?

Source: Yahoo! via Consumerist

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!