The Consumer Product Safety Commission is moving to quickly set up procedures to enforce the new home insulation safety law.
President Carter signed the home insulation bill recently, giving the CPSC 60 days to enforce the new mandatory safety standards set by Congress for the industry.
The standard employs a test to measure flames against cellulose insulation. If the flames spread too far within a certain time, the insulation cannot be legally sold.
Congress passed legislation mandating safety standards for home insulation after the CPSC became bogged down in bureaucratic problems in its attempt to set standards. The bill that passed allows the CPSC to bypass time-consuming regulations and institutes an existing General Services Administration standard until a new one can be drawn up.
The GSA standard calls for warning labels on all insulation sold, and prohibits sale of cellulose insulation that does not pass a corrosiveness test.
In September, when the standard goes into effect, the CPSC will begin inspection of more than 200 cellulose manufacturers to check for compliance.
Violations of the standard could bring civil penalties of up to $2,000 per count with a maximum $500,000 fine or [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]
Sen. Wendall Ford (D-Ky.), who was instrumental in getting the insulation bill through Congress, said, "It was extremely important that we enact this legislation now so that it will take effect in time to protect those consumers who will soon start insulating their homes for next winter."
Ford called the legislation "a significant step towards establishing consumer confidence in cellulose insulation products."
Celluloses insulation, which has been used with increasing frequency because of shortages of other forms of home insulation, is merely ground up paper treated with a substance designed to resist flame and fire.
But several new firms, sensing the growing market for insulation, began rushing cellulose insulation into production without adequate protection against fire, causing the need for mandatory safety standards.
To instruct cellulose manufacturers, consumers and other interested parties about the new regulations, the CPSC has scheduled meetings throughout the county beginning late in August.