ACSH would like to offer an honorary seat at our table to “Free Range Kids” blogger Lenore Skenazy for expressing the downside of being overly precautionary about child safety. In response to a school’s decision to cancel a shipment of rocks out of a fear of lead exposure, she writes:
After all, who knows exactly what is in a piece of Mother Nature? There could be a speck of lead! The children will study a poster of rocks instead. And so it goes in the unbrave new world, where nothing is safe enough. It's a world brought to us by the once sane, now danger-hallucinating Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission actively engages in fear mongering, perhaps to give it something to do. After it rid the world of leaping lawnmowers and exploding frying pans, it turned its sights on the also-rans of corporate reprehensibility. The tricycle with a protruding screw. The stuffed animal whose button eyeball contains lead paint. And to remain relevant, it acts as if there is really no distinction between a bucking chain saw and a Little Tykes "choking hazard" the size of a salt shaker. And it just keeps getting more irrational.
In agreement, ACSH's Jeff Stier further points out the flaws in the legislation governing such CPSC standards for allowable lead exposure — known as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. “The legislation, which we were among the first to warn about back in 2007, forbids the agency from a commonsense application of the law. For instance, the law’s expensive testing requirements for phthalates have no flexibility.”