Langer: Consumer Safety at Risk

Check out Andrew Langer’s excellent piece in today’s Roll Call addressing challenges for the potential new chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CEI has pointed out in the past how misguided CPSC regulations are often counter-productive, and we have commented before the agency about its misuse of science.

Today, Andrew, who heads the Institute for Liberty, highlights how Congress is making the problem even worse with more misguided mandates for CPSC to enforce, particularly regulations on phthalates. This is an issue that CEI has covered in studies and op-eds over the years. But misguided regulations continue. Langer explains: “The law includes an interim ban on certain phthalates, a class of chemicals used safely as a softener in children’s plastic toys for over 40 years. Even though the government’s own research says this product is safe, the ban remains in place until yet more testing is done. Nothing wrong with that — except that the replacements used in the meantime haven’t been tested at all. Congress responded to political pressure but made no attempt to evaluate comparative risks. In this provision, the CPSIA has succeeded in increasing risk for the very kids Congress congratulated itself for protecting.”