[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 135 (Monday, July 15, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 42026-42027]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16403]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 135 / Monday, July 15, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 42026]]



CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION

16 CFR Chapter II

[Docket No. CPSC-2013-0028]


Petition for Rulemaking To Eliminate Accessible Cords on Window 
Covering Products

AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION: Notice of petition for rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC or Commission) 
received a petition requesting the Commission to: promulgate a 
mandatory standard that prohibits any window covering cords, when a 
feasible cordless alternative exists; and require that all window 
covering cords be made inaccessible through the use of a passive 
guardian device when a feasible cordless alternative does not exist. 
The Commission invites written comments concerning the petition.

DATES: The Office of the Secretary must receive comments on the 
petition by September 13, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2013-
0028, by any of the following methods:
    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept 
comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through 
www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic 
comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.
    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions in the following 
way: Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper, disk, or CD-ROM 
submissions), preferably in five copies, to: Office of the Secretary, 
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, 
Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted 
without change, including any personal identifiers, contact 
information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, 
trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information 
that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at 
all, such information should be submitted in writing.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the 
docket number, CPSC-2013-0028, into the ``Search'' box, and follow the 
prompts. A copy of the petition is available at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. CPSC-2013-0028, Supporting and 
Related Materials.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rockelle Hammond, Office of the 
Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East 
West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-6833.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC 
or Commission) received a petition requesting initiation of a 
rulemaking to promulgate a mandatory standard to eliminate accessible 
cords on window covering products. The petition was filed by nine 
organizations representing consumer groups, safety consultants, and 
legal counsel: Parents for Window Blind Safety; Consumer Federation of 
America; Consumers Union; Kids in Danger; Public Citizen; U.S. PIRG; 
Independent Safety Consulting; Safety Behavior Analysis, Inc.; and 
Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson (collectively petitioners). CPSC has 
docketed the petition (CP13-2).
    The petition asserts that a mandatory rule is necessary because 
attempts to develop a voluntary standard that adequately mitigates the 
risk of injury associated with window covering cords have failed. 
Petitioners state that, based on CPSC's data, between 1985 and 2012, 
324 children have been killed, and 122 have been injured by window 
covering cords.
    To support their request for rulemaking, petitioners detail the 
history of the voluntary standards process for window coverings since 
1985. Petitioners argue that although the first voluntary standard, 
ANSI/WCMA A100.1-1996, issued in 1996, addressed some hazards 
associated with outer cord loops, the manner in which this hazard was 
addressed did not fully resolve the strangulation and asphyxiation 
risk. The voluntary standard was subsequently updated in 2002, 2007, 
2009, and 2010, following CPSC recalls for unaddressed hazards related 
to rear inner cord fatalities on roman shades and lifting loops on 
roll-up shades. Petitioners argue that these efforts also had limited 
success, detailing additional fatalities and injuries. Petitioners 
assert that the most recent version of the ANSI standard, approved on 
November 28, 2012, still fails to adequately address the strangulation 
hazard posed by accessible cords on window coverings, despite increased 
international governmental and retailer pressure to address the hazard.
    Petitioners assert that the voluntary standard is inadequate. They 
analyzed the incidents associated with window covering cords between 
1996 and 2012 to determine what characteristic of the cord was involved 
in each incident. Of the 293 incidents that occurred during that 
period, enough data to determine the cord characteristic involved was 
available in 250 of the incidents. Petitioners conclude that 102 of 
these 250 incidents, or 40%, would not have been prevented by adherence 
to the current 2012 voluntary standard. Petitioners also detail 
characteristics of newer window covering designs that meet the 
voluntary standard but that Petitioners argue are more dangerous than 
traditional corded blinds.
    Petitioners assert that substantial noncompliance with the 
voluntary standard is demonstrated by CPSC's 16 recalls involving 
blinds that purportedly complied with the voluntary standard since 
2007. Petitioners state that CPSC found numerous other violations of 
the voluntary standard when evaluating roman shades and roll-up shades, 
including looped pull cords, no inner cord stops, no tension devices, 
and failure to attach tension devices to a continuous loop cord. 
Petitioners assert that many of these products had been on

[[Page 42027]]

the market for years before the defects were detected and recalled.
    Petitioners ask the Commission to issue a mandatory standard to 
eliminate the hazard posed by accessible cords in window coverings. The 
petition specifically requests that the Commission: (1) Promulgate a 
mandatory standard that prohibits any window covering cords when a 
feasible cordless alternative exists; and (2) require that all cords be 
made inaccessible through the use of a passive guardian device when a 
feasible cordless alternative does not exist.
    By this notice, the Commission seeks comments concerning this 
petition. Interested parties may obtain a copy of the petition by 
writing or calling the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product 
Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 
20814; telephone (301) 504-7923. A copy of the petition also will be 
made available for viewing under ``Supporting and Related Materials'' 
in www.regulations.gov under this docket number.

    Dated: July 3, 2013.
Todd A. Stevenson,
Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2013-16403 Filed 7-12-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6355-01-P