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New Restrictions on Window Covering Cords Sought in Petition to CPSC

Monday, July 15, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received a petition seeking two actions to guard against the hazards presented by window covering cords. The petition asks the CPSC to promulgate a mandatory standard that prohibits any window covering cords when a feasible cordless alternative exists and to require that all window covering cords be made inaccessible through the use of a passive guardian device when a feasible cordless alternative does not exist. Written comments on this petition are due no later than Sept. 13.

The petition asserts that a mandatory rule is necessary because attempts to develop a voluntary standard that adequately mitigates the risk of injury associated with window covering cords have failed. The existing voluntary standard was issued in 1996 and was updated in 2002, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012, but the petitioners argue that it still fails to adequately address the strangulation hazard posed by accessible cords on window coverings. The petitioners further assert that there has been substantial noncompliance with the voluntary standard, as demonstrated by the CPSC’s 16 recalls since 2007 involving blinds that purportedly complied with the voluntary standard and had been on the market for years before the defects were detected.

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