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Product Safety Update from Capitol Hill (Part Two)

Earlier this year, we began a series of blog entries to update our readers on legislative efforts on Capitol Hill that affect stakeholders within the product safety arena.

One such legislative effort is a bill introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to support initiatives to curtail deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.  That legislation, known as the "Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act" (S. 1793),would require the CPSC to establish a grant program to provide assistance to states and local governments in educating the public on the dangers of carbon monoxide and installing safe detectors in homes.

Last week, the bill was passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee and will now head to the full Senate for a possible vote.  A copy of the legislation can be found here.  We are unaware of any companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Senate Commerce Committee also passed out of committee the Youth Sports Concussions Act bill (S. 1014), legislation introduced by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).  This bill addresses advertising practices and claims made by sports equipment manufacturers regarding certain children’s sports gear, such as youth football helmets.

The legislation increases penalties against companies who make claims that their equipment “prevents concussions” or “reduces the risk of concussions” without scientific evidence to support those claims.  As we have previously noted, CPSC Chairman Nominee Elliot Kaye has been a driving force in addressing brain safety education among youth football programs.  This bill will also head to the full Senate for a possible vote.  Its companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives is H.R. 2118 introduced by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ).

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