On behalf of Consumer Reports (CR), the independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization, we write regarding two product safety bills the Committee plans to consider at its executive session on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. We urge all senators on the Committee to vote to approve these bills.
CR strongly supports S. 3232, the STURDY Act. This bipartisan home safety bill would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to create a minimum furniture stability standard for dressers and other types of clothing storage furniture, so that they resist tipping over when subjected to real-world conditions and foreseeable child interactions.
Furniture tip-overs have taken a severe toll on our country’s families. On average, six children every day are rushed to the emergency department after a chest, bureau, or dresser tips over onto them. Not all of them survive. Since 2000, hundreds of children have died in preventable furniture tip-over incidents.
CR has supported the STURDY Act for several years as a critical measure to help protect families. We have worked closely with parents whose children died from a furniture tip-over incident, supporting them as they organized to form Parents Against Tip-Overs (PAT). We have amplified their calls for action as they turned the loss of a child into powerful safety advocacy. Now, after several years of painstaking work to stop tip-over tragedies from happening to any other families, these parent advocates are on the verge of a breakthrough.
Recently, after several rounds of negotiations involving the bill’s sponsors and staff from both parties, a broad group of stakeholders—including PAT, consumer and medical groups, furniture manufacturers, and retailers—have reached agreement on compromise language for the legislation. This agreement, which is reflected in the substitute amendment, maintains the strong safety requirements and timely implementation of the original bill, while promoting safety innovation and performance testing that is objective, repeatable, reproducible, and measurable. The bill would create a pathway for a voluntary standard—such as the ASTM F2057 standard for the safety of clothing storage units—to become mandatory if revised and improved to meet requirements specified in the legislation. We urge you to vote in favor of this sensible compromise.
CR also strongly supports S. 3278, Reese’s Law. This bipartisan bill would require the CPSC to develop and implement a safety standard for consumer products that contain a button cell or coin battery, or alternatively rely on a voluntary standard—and enforce its provisions—if the voluntary standard meets specified requirements. A standard under the bill would need to include performance requirements aimed at securing button cell and coin batteries to eliminate or adequately reduce the risk of injury from ingestion, as well as warning requirements.
To read the full letter, click here.