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CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION (CPSC)
Statement of Regulatory Priorities for Fiscal Year 1995
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with 
protecting the public against unreasonable risks of injury and death 
associated with consumer products. The Commission has four methods by 
which to achieve this objective: participation in developing or 
revising voluntary product safety standards, development of mandatory 
product safety standards, development of mandatory corrective actions, 
or development of information and education campaigns.
In determining which of these methods to use in the case of a 
particular product, the Commission gathers the best available data on 
the nature and extent of the hazard posed by the product. This 
information is analyzed to determine how best to reduce the hazard. In 
determining what priority to give a particular hazard reduction effort, 
the Commission is required by its rules to consider the following 
general criteria:

<bullet> frequency and severity of injury
<bullet> causality of injury
<bullet> chronic illness and future injuries
<bullet> cost and benefit of CPSC action
<bullet> unforeseen nature of the risk
<bullet> vulnerability of the population at risk
<bullet> probability of exposure to hazard.
In addition, if a mandatory safety standard is proposed to reduce the 
hazard associated with a particular product, the Commission is required 
to find that the regulatory approach selected is the least burdensome 
means of adequately protecting the public.
The Commission has a small regulatory program. It relies on voluntary 
standards to address product hazards whenever possible. Regulatory 
initiatives are undertaken only when manufacturers fail to develop 
adequate voluntary standards or when there is not substantial 
conformance with such standards. The Commission considers a balance 
between mandatory and voluntary standards to be the most effective way 
to achieve product safety in the 1990s.
In 1995, the Commission will focus on mandatory safety standards which 
emphasize the protection of vulnerable populations, including children, 
the elderly, low-income groups, and those who have difficulty 
understanding safety messages written in English.
Significant CPSC regulatory activities planned for 1995 involve the 
following regulations: ``Standard for the Flammability of Upholstered 
Furniture''; ``Standard for Safety Performance Requirements for Plastic 
Five-Gallon Containers'' (Buckets); and ``Requirements for Special 
Packaging of Household Substances: Revision of Test Protocols for 
Child-Resistant Packaging.'' These regulatory activities are described 
in detail below.
Each of these 1995 regulatory initiatives has a major component related 
to vulnerable populations. Upholstered furniture fires 
disproportionately kill and injure children, the elderly and families/
individuals with lower incomes. Five-gallon buckets pose a drowning 
hazard to young children, in particular those in ethnic minority groups 
in low-income households. Revisions of the test protocol for child-
resistant packaging will make this packaging easier for adults, 
especially the elderly, to use. If child-resistant packaging is easier 
to use, it will be used more frequently, thereby preventing ingestion 
of medicines and other harmful substances by young children.
The 1995 regulatory focus on reducing product-related deaths and 
injuries in vulnerable populations is consistent with the Agency's 
legally defined mission and priority-setting criteria. In addition, it 
supports the President's priority to reduce the Nation's health care 
costs by preventing injury to groups which are frequently the most 
likely to be injured by a hazardous product.
_______________________________________________________________________
CPSC
            ___________________________________________________________
PROPOSED RULE STAGE
            ___________________________________________________________
199. <bullet> FLAMMABILITY STANDARD FOR UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE
Legal Authority:


 15 USC 1293 Flammable Fabrics Act


CFR Citation:


 16 CFR 1640


Legal Deadline:


None


Abstract:


On June 15, 1994, the Commission published an advance notice of 
proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to begin a proceeding for development of a 
flammability standard for upholstered furniture. The ANPRM announced 
that the regulatory alternatives under consideration include issuance 
of a mandatory standard to address risks of death, injury, and property 
damage from fires associated with ignition of upholstered furniture by 
small open-flame sources. Fire hazards associated with ignition of 
upholstered furniture by cigarettes or large open-flame sources are 
outside the scope of this proceeding. The staff is preparing a briefing 
package for consideration by the Commissioners of the agency when they 
decide whether to publish a proposed standard.


Statement of Need:


There are approximately 700 deaths, more than 2,000 injuries and $300 
million in property damage resulting from upholstered furniture fires 
each year in the U.S. Upholstered furniture is associated with more 
fire-related deaths than any other consumer product within the agency's 
jurisdiction.


Open-flame ignition fires accounted for about one-fourth of the 
injuries, and one-fifth of the deaths and property damage. Cigarette-
ignited fires accounted for about two-thirds of the deaths and over 
half of the injuries and property damage.


The estimated societal cost of all upholstered furniture fires in 1991 
was about $2 billion, including about $0.5 billion attributable to 
open-flame fires and $1.25 billion to smoking-related fires.


Summary of the Legal Basis:


The Commission has authority under the FFA to issue a ``flammability 
standard or other regulation, including labeling,'' for a product of 
interior furnishing if the Commission determines that such a standard 
``is needed to adequately protect the public against unreasonable risk 
of the occurrence of fire leading to death or personal injury, or 
significant property damage.'' (FFA, section 4(a), 15 U.S.C. 1193 (a).) 
No aspect of this action is required by statute or court order.


The projected regulation would be a mandatory standard that would 
require that upholstered furniture sold in the United States resist 
ignition under test conditions specified in the standard.


Alternatives:


Continued deferral to existing industry voluntary standard for 
cigarette ignition only;


Continued deferral to existing industry voluntary standard for 
cigarette ignition and development of a voluntary standard for open-
flame ignition; or


Development of a mandatory standard for cigarette ignition only.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:


The estimated annual cost of imposing a mandatory standard for open-
flame ignition of furniture will be determined. Given that the total 
annual societal cost of upholstered furniture fire losses is estimated 
at nearly $500 million from open-flame fires, the potential benefits of 
a standard, even if it were only partially effective, could be 
extremely large.


Risks:


Upholstered furniture is associated with more deaths from fires than 
any other consumer product within the agency's jurisdiction. There are 
approximately 700 deaths, more than 2,000 injuries, $300 million in 
property damage and an estimated overall societal cost of about $2 
billion resulting from upholstered furniture fires each year in the 
U.S. About one-quarter of these costs are due to open-flame ignition 
fires.


A substantial impact on open flame ignition fires could occur since 
there is currently no national standard addressing this hazard.


Societal costs associated with upholstered furniture are among the 
highest costs associated with any product that the agency regulates. 
This standard has the potential to eliminate as much as one-quarter of 
that cost.


Timetable:
_______________________________________________________________________
Action                                 DFR Cite

_______________________________________________________________________
ANPRM           59 FR 30735                                    06/15/94
ANPRM Comment Pe59 FR 30735                                    08/15/94
Staff Sends Briefing Package to Commission                     06/00/96
Small Entities Affected:


Undetermined


Government Levels Affected:


Undetermined


Agency Contact:
Dale R. Ray
Project Manager
Directorate for Economics
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Washington, DC 20207
301 504-0962
RIN: 3041-AB35
_______________________________________________________________________
CPSC
200. <bullet> SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR 5-GALLON PLASTIC BUCKETS
Legal Authority:


 15 USC 2056 Consumer Product Safety Act; 15 USC 2057 Consumer Product 
Safety Act; 15 USC 2058 Consumer Product Safety Act


CFR Citation:


 16 CFR 1307


Legal Deadline:


None


Abstract:


On July 8, 1994, the Commission published an advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking (ANPRM) to begin a proceeding which could result in 
mandatory requirements to address risks of drowning to children 
associated with 5-gallon plastic buckets. The ANPRM announced that the 
regulatory alternatives under consideration include issuance of a 
mandatory performance standard or labeling requirements for 5-gallon 
plastic buckets, or a ban of those products. The staff is preparing a 
briefing package for consideration by the Commissioners of the agency 
when they decide whether to publish a proposed standard or banning 
rule.


Statement of Need:


An estimated 40 children a year drown in buckets. They range in age 
from 7 months to 24 months; approximately two-thirds are male. Minority 
groups accounted for approximately 70 percent of bucket-related 
incidents. Most victims were at the lower end of the socioeconomic 
scale.


Summary of the Legal Basis:


The Commission has authority under the CPSA ``to protect the public 
against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer 
products'' and ``to develop uniform safety standards for consumer 
products.'' (15 U.S.C. 2051) ``Any requirement of such a standard shall 
be reasonably necessary to prevent or reduce an unreasonable risk of 
injury associated with such product.'' (15 U.S.C. 2056) No aspect of 
this action is required by statute or court order.


The projected regulation would be a mandatory standard that would 
require that 5-gallon plastic buckets sold in the United States meet 
certain performance requirements intended to prevent young children 
from drowning in such buckets.


Alternatives:


Deferral to an existing emergency (temporary) voluntary labeling 
standard;


Development of a mandatory labeling requirement;


Development of a voluntary performance standard; or


Ban of the product as a hazardous product.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

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