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Unlike the incidents of excessive levels of lead in toys that first motivated Congress tocommence work on the CPSIA, the mattress industry has a laudable reputation for meeting itsobligations under the CPSC’s flammability standards. Furthermore, since the first of thesestandards went into effect in the mid-1970s, the incidence of mattress fires, deaths, and injuryand property damage, have dropped substantially.Nevertheless, given the strict manner in which the CPSC has applied its new CPSIA authority,a number of mattress manufacturers have had to retest prototypes they use to make adult-sizemattresses that are intended primarily for use by consumers 12 and under. The costs of theseflammability tests can range from to $1150 to $2650 per mattress prototype. Depending onthe size and product range of a given producer, a typical mattress manufacturer will need toretest between 12 and 42 prototypes to meet this new arbitrary CPSIA rule.While this rule will certainly impose new costs on manufacturers already strained by therecession, it will not improve safety. Instead, the manufacturers will simply repeat testsalready conducted. This is a clear example of government action that has forced mattressmanufacturers to incur additional costs and regulatory burdens with no discernable safetybenefits to the consumer.In implementing other CPSIA provisions, the CPSC has set or proposed further testing,recordkeeping and labeling requirements on mattress manufacturers that will impose othercostly redundancies on the current product safety regime for mattresses, once again withoutoffering any discernable improvement in consumer safety. For example, the CPSC has issueda proposed rule titled “Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification.”
The twoflammability standards that apply to mattresses already include rigorous testing, quality control,documentation, recordkeeping, labeling and certification requirements. Furthermore, as notedabove, the record shows that the incidence and consequences of residential mattress fireshave fallen substantially since the first of these standards was promulgated in the 1970s.Nevertheless, the CPSC has proposed additional testing for these products in this rule. Onceagain, this regulation, if adopted, would increase mattress manufacturers’ costs and regulatoryburdens without improving safety.Likewise, the CPSC interprets the CPSIA to require that all mattresses be accompanied by a“certificate of conformity,” which must contain manufacturer, testing and contact information.Like the other examples discussed above, this rule imposes added regulatory obligations andassociated costs on the manufacturer without improving product safety. Virtually all of theinformation required to be on the certificate is already contained on a label that the CPSC hasrequired on all mattresses since well before the CPSIA took effect. Furthermore, the certificateserves no safety purpose. A manufacturer must furnish the certificate to retailers anddistributors, but those parties have no obligation to read or retain it. Likewise, themanufacturer must keep the certificate on file and make it available to the CPSC on request,but this new document merely references information already documented elsewhere by themanufacturer.Other CPSIA-mandated requirements include a product safety database that will list productsafety complaints that consumers send to the CPSC. While the mattress industry does not
75 FR 28336.