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FREE Sample Magazine (Type Mailing Address into E-mail Message) | President's Column Archive
 March 2007
Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: Standardization News, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., PO Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959
E-mail letters here.

Children’s Safety

I was thrilled to see mention of Illinois’ Children’s Product Safety Act in Jeff Grove’s January column in SN. However, I thought readers would be interested to know that the provisions cited in the article have been in effect in Illinois since 1999 and were also adopted by five other states (Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana, Rhode Island and Vermont). The language incorporating the ASTM standards was taken from the Infant Crib Safety Act from California, adopted earlier.

Our founders, Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar, worked to pass the CPSA after the death of their son in a recalled, unsafe portable crib in 1998. They had been shocked to learn that nothing prohibited the sale of recalled or unsafe cribs in the second-hand market or their use in childcare. It was at the time that Linda learned of ASTM and became a member of the juvenile products subcommittee and then I joined in 2001.

The amendments added last year provide for required posting of recall notices and notification of consumers as well as changes to the penalty section.

Nancy A. Cowles
Executive Director, Kids in Danger
Member, ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products


After more than 50 years in the engineering profession in which ASTM International standards have been an essential part of my working world, it was somewhat disconcerting to see ASTM is now providing a degree of legitimization to such junk science environmental causes as the “radon menace.” There are quite a few environmental concerns that can’t sustain close examination but the “radon menace” has to be one of the most egregious.

The so-called “radon menace” is a direct result of another environmental cause celebre, i.e., sealing up buildings to conserve energy. It seems that every time the environmentalists try to fix a problem they manage to create a couple of new ones that, according to them, can only be mitigated by an expanding government bureaucracy, which — just incidentally — also provides them with permanent employment.
E. G. Costello, P.E.
Bellevue, Wash.

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