Representatives Schakowsky, Waxman Statements on Consumer Product Safety Commission Vote to Begin Proceedings to Issue a Mandatory Window Coverings Standard

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—October 8, 2014. Today, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Ranking Member of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, released statements in response to the unanimous vote by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to initiate a rulemaking for a mandatory standard on corded window coverings.  

“CPSC has taken an important step toward addressing the serious hazard posed to children by accessible cords on window blinds, shades, and other types of coverings,” said Ranking Member Waxman.  “Previous and current voluntary safety standards have been tragically inadequate.  Every year for more than three decades, infants and young children have died from strangulation and asphyxiation by these cords at a rate of one or more per month, with an additional number suffering permanent brain injuries, despite the fact that technology exists to prevent this hazard.  I applaud the Commission for unanimously recognizing that it cannot wait any longer to keep kids safe from window cords.”

“It is unacceptable that children are still being injured and killed in accidents involving window coverings – accidents that could be prevented for less than $1 per window covering.  Voluntary industry efforts have failed, and I applaud the CPSC for taking action to protect children and families,” said Ranking Member Schakowsky.  “I urge the Commission to follow up on today’s vote by issuing a strong mandatory standard as soon as possible.”

The Commission voted 5-0 to grant a petition for rulemaking under the Consumer Product Safety Act that was jointly submitted by groups advocating for consumer safety, including Parents for Window Blind Safety, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Kids in Danger, Public Citizen, and U.S. PIRG.  CPSC is now required to begin a rulemaking to prohibit any window covering cords where a feasible cordless alternative exists, and for those instances where a feasible cordless alternative does not exist, require that all cords be made inaccessible through the use of passive guarding devices.

Source: Schakowsky.house.gov