Based on information supplied by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Report article yesterday incorrectly reported the new job of former CPSC chairman Nancy Harvey Steorts. She operates a consulting firm in Dallas.
A Consumer Product Safety Commission seat has been vacant for five months but top agency officials don't appear concerned. Commissioner Stuart M. Statler said the commission makes more of an effort to resolve differences when there are four members than it would if there were five.
"There has been a tendency to try and work things out more because you basically need to get three votes to get a majority," Statler said.
That does not mean, however, that all is peaceful at the CPSC.
In a recent speech before the American Bar Association, Statler attacked CPSC Chairman Terrence M. Scanlon for being "obsessed with what he calls back-door rule-making." Scanlon has charged that the commission has used its recall authority, rather than proposing rules, to deal with generic hazards -- that is, a design problem found in a product made by several manufacturers.
Statler said, "What's ironic is that even as Chairman Scanlon bellyaches about 'back-door rule-making,' he mysteriously ballyhoos the commission's recent success in getting the makers of V-shaped accordion-style baby gates to stop futher production." Scanlon has cited that case as an example of industry voluntarily cooperating with the commission.
"The only reason they cooperated with us was that we were about to use our recall authority either to stop industry production or to possibly threaten to recall all 15 million of the gates," Statler said. CHILD-PROOF BOTTLES . . .
More than one-third of all prescription drugs accidentally swallowed by children under age 5 involve a grandparent's medication, the CPSC said yesterday, as it launched the 24th annual National Poison Prevention Week.
Scanlon said grandparents should use child-resistant bottle caps when children are around.
He urged parents to inspect their homes for medicines and products that may be dangerous to their children and to put them where their children can't reach them. ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES . . .
The House Government Operations subcommittee on commerce, consumer and monetary affairs announced yesterday that it will hold hearings soon on the hazards associated with three-wheeled, all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and whether the CPSC's efforts to deal with the problem have been adequate.
Serious injuries associated with ATVs jumped nearly eightfold in three years, from 8,585 in 1982 to 66,956 in 1984, the CPSC said. Within the same period the death toll has risen to 104, and 44 percent of the victims were under age 16.
Sales of the vehicles, meanwhile, increased from 136,000 in 1980 to 650,000 in 1984. About 1.8 million ATVs are now in use in the United States, the CPSC said, and by the end of the year that figure could grow to 2.5 million.
The CPSC staff said an ATV's instability can cause it to roll over when it moves uphill or hits a bump. PACIFIER SAFETY . . .
Rubber pacifiers are safer today than a few years ago, the CPSC recently reported. A year ago, rubber pacifiers containing nitrosamines, a known carcinogen, were included among hazardous substances. But the CPSC said it wouldn't initiate enforcement action if pacifiers introduced after Jan. 1, 1984, didn't exceed 60 parts per billion.
Test results indicate the average nitrosamine level of pacifiers on the market has dropped from 147 ppb in 1982 to 3.7 ppb in 1984 and that 83 percent of the market has achieved nitrosamine levels under 10 ppb. INS AND OUTS . . .
Nancy Harvey Steorts, who resigned as CPSC chairman in October, has moved to Dallas, where she is consumer affairs director for the Piggly-Wiggly supermarket chain . . . . Pete Braithwaite has been appointed special assistant to Scanlon. Braithwaite was a former legislative assistant to Rep. William E. Dannemeyer (R-Calif.)