In a unanimous vote that was the subject of a press release earlier today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will now require manufacturers of carpets and rugs and clothing textiles to provide certificates that their products comply with published flammability standards for these products. Presumably in a nod to manufacturer's complaints about the cost involved in complying with these measures, the manufacturers are permitted to self-certify that they had a "reasonable testing program" that assured their products comply with these guidelines; they do not need to be based on testing done by a third-party laboratory.

Naturally, since the manufacturers are essentially self-policing, it is doubtful that this statute will have an appreciable effect on assuring product safety. Therefore - and unfortunately - it seems that the most effective deterrent to putting unreasonably dangerous and flammable carpets or clothing textiles into the stream of commerce remains product liability lawsuits.

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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