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ua14no94 FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC)...
<DOC> 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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