The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting comments through Aug. 17 on a potential mandatory safety standard for duster aerosol products used for cleaning electronic devices, photographic equipment, and other items.

A petition seeking this standard said inhalation of the hydrofluorocarbon propellants in these products is acutely dangerous and causes immediate brain damage and possible sudden sniffing death. The petition argued that current efforts, including legislation, retail practices, and manufacturer design, have been ineffective in resolving this problem.

The petition said a CPSC standard should require manufacturers to (1) add an aversive (a bitterant other than denatonium benzoate) to all duster aerosol cans at a level of 30-40 ppm and (2) place a “much stronger” warning on the can (e.g., “DANGER: DEATH – This product can kill you if you breathe it”).

For more information on this or other product safety issues, please contact Beth Ring at (212) 549-0133 or Ned Steiner at (202) 730-4970.

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