Public briefing on phthalates petition may be Nov. 8.The Greenpeace petition to ban phthalates Phthalates, or phthalate esters, are a group of chemical compounds that are mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility). They are chiefly used to turn polyvinyl chloride from a hard plastic into a flexible plastic. in toys was first scheduled for a public briefing by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC CPSC Consumer Product Safety Commission (US)
CPSC Computer Science (course)
CPSC Canadian Plastics Sector Council (Ottawa, ON, Canada)
CPSC Chemical Processing Safety Committee ) staff on Oct. 24. But due to the illness of one of the Commissioners, that briefing was postponed and will most likely take place Friday, Nov. 8. As reported in the September Monitor, the CPSC staff has recommended denial of the petition. Staff told the Commissioners in its briefing package that a study of the time children actually spend mouthing polyvinyl polyvinyl /poly·vi·nyl/ (-vi´nil) a polymerization product of a monomeric vinyl compound.
polyvinyl alcohol see under alcohol. toys showed they are exposed to the chemicals for much less time than what had originally been thought. Thus, staff says, there is no hazard.
Voting on the petition will most likely take place by ballot.
Markey Cites CPSC Data to Support His Bill; But CPSC Disagrees
Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) who has annually sponsored legislation to give CPSC jurisdiction over fixed site amusement park amusement park, a commercially operated park offering various forms of entertainment, such as arcade games, carousels, roller coasters, and performers, as well as food, drink, and souvenirs. rides charged that CPSC's newest data shows an "upward trend in injuries" on fixed site rides. (1)
Markey stated in a news release issued Oct. 15 that "[T]he injuries on theme park rides rose sharply from 1996-1999 and have stayed high ever since." He contended that an increase from 3419 injuries in 1996 to 6704 in 2001 was an increase of "96 percent in six years."
Markey has been a strong advocate for extending the agency's jurisdiction. CPSC currently has oversight over mobile rides only. Data from CPSC shows that injuries related to mobile site rides have declined. But data also shows that there is no statistical significance to recent statistics on fixed site rides when adjusted for increases in attendance numbers.
CPSC's August 2002 update on amusement park injuries in the U.S. states clearly in its executive summary that the so-called upward trend is not statistically significant "when adjusted for attendance." (2)
Moreover, Markey compares 1996 data with later numbers, which were based on new methods of data collection. In 1996, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Markey, there were 3419 injuries but in 1997 the number increased to 5353. In 2001 the figure was 6704. CPSC Monitor looked at these numbers in earlier reports, and discovered that there was a shift in the number and type of hospital emergency rooms used to collect the data during that period. Between 1996 and 1997, CPSC altered its sample by eliminating more than 20 hospital emergency rooms and adding over 30 new ones to the system. Independent epidemiologist Ed Heiden noted at that time that "statistical concerns would be introduced if the hospitals added to the system were in closer proximity to large-size amusement parks than those deleted or if they disproportionately serve customers who are more likely to use amusement parks than their predecessors. This appears to be exactly what happened." (3)
Roller Coasters Don't Cause Brain Injuries, Say Neuroscientists
Rep. Markey had used questionable data before in his efforts to create support for his amusement park ride legislation. He cited an article in the January issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine The Annals of Emergency Medicine is a peer-reviewed medical journal. It is the official journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). See also
warning of a suspected increase in head, neck and back trauma due to higher G-forces on some amusement park rides. He then called for an investigation by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIA BIA
Bureau of Indian Affairs ). Markey and ten other Members of Congress signed a letter calling for a blue ribbon panel to study the issue. (4)
The American Tort Reform Association The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), founded in 1986, is an organization that advocates for "tort reform." Its membership consists of more than 300 businesses, corporations, municipalities, associations, and professional firms. (ATRA ATRA All-Trans Retinoic Acid (aka tretinoin)
ATRA American Tort Reform Association
ATRA American Therapeutic Recreation Association (Alexandria, VA)
ATRA Advanced Transit Association ), in a statement issued in August, called the study Markey relied upon "suspect." ATRA called the source of the study, Dr. Claus-Peter Speth, a "controversial pathologist" who was once convicted of witness tampering. (5)
Adding to Markey's problems is the release of a new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (body, education) University of Pennsylvania - The home of ENIAC and Machiavelli.
Address: Philadelphia, PA, USA. . The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. .
The report's bottom line was that even the newer, faster roller coasters do not cause brain injuries.
"Our findings do not support the contention that current roller coaster rides produce high enough forces to mechanically deform and injure the brain," the authors said. (6)
Dr. Douglas H. Smith, co-author of the study with colleague David F. Meaney, looked at data from three of the newer, faster rides--the Rock `n' Roller coaster at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Fla.; Speed, the Ride at the NASCAR NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), organization that sanctions American stock-car races, est. 1948. It held its first race in Daytona Beach, Fla. Cafe in Las Vegas; and the Face/Off at Paramount's Kings Island near Cincinnati. Their report appeared in the Journal of Neurotrauma on October 16.
Smith and Meaney developed a model to predict the effect of amusement park rides on the head and neck. According to a report by the Associated Press, their research showed that the rides "produced accelerations to the head nine times less than what would be required to cause torn blood vessels Blood vessels
Tubular channels for blood transport, of which there are three principal types: arteries, capillaries, and veins. Only the larger arteries and veins in the body bear distinct names. in the brain, and 18 times less than the force required to cause brain swelling brain swelling
A localized or generalized increase in the bulk of brain tissue due to congestion or edema. ." (7)
Smith told the media that state legislation to limit G-forces on roller coasters is misguided, "since you can endure higher G-forces from daily activities such as sneezing To verbally tell somebody about a new and interesting Web site. See viral marketing. , coughing, getting slapped on the back or plopping down on the couch On the Couch is an Australian television program formally broadcast on the Fox Footy Channel and it focuses on the current issues in the AFL. This is now broadcast on Fox Sports after the closure of Fox Footy Channel.
The show airs on Monday night and is hosted by Gerard Healy. " than are generated by roller coasters. (8)
According to Smith, "A lot more attention needs to be paid to those risks we can easily identify such as rollerblading, bicycling and driving cars. To reduce the risk of brain injury, [roller coaster riders] should make sure their seat belts are buckled on the way to the amusement park", he said. (9)
(1) News from Ed Markey, "Injuries Continue Upward on Amusement Park Rides Not Subject to Safety Regs," Oct. 15, 2002.
(2) Levenson, Mark S. Ph.D., "Amusement Ride-Related Injuries and Deaths in the United States, 2002 Update," Directorate for Epidemiology, Division of Hazard Analysis, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, August 2002.
(3) See CPSC Monitor, Vol. 5, Issue 9, September 2000, "Amusement Park Industry Issues Analysis Faulting CPSC Injury Report."
(4) See CPSC Monitor, Vol. 7, Issue 2, February 2002, "Markey, Other Legislators, Call on Expert Panel to Assess Amusement Park Rides' Hazards."
(5) See CPSC Monitor, Vol. 7, Issue 8, August 2002, "Group Questions `Link' Between Coasters and Brain Injuries."
(6) Fitzgerald, Susan, Knight Ridder Newspapers, "Roller Coaster Rides Don't Harm the Brain, Researchers Find," Oct. 15, 2002.
(7) Rubinkam, Michael, Associated Press, State and Local Wire, "Study: Amusement Park Rides Do Not Cause Brain Injuries," Oct. 16, 2002.
(8) United Press International, "Coasters Not Linked to Brain Injury," Oct. 16, 2002.
(10) "New Law Makes Data Challenges Easier," Cox News Service, in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sept. 30, 2002.
(11) See CPSC Monitor, Vol.6, Issue 6-7, June-July, 2001, "CPSC, CFA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986) Signed into law in 1986, the CFA was a significant step forward in criminalizing unauthorized access to computer systems and networks. The Act applies to "federal interest computers" that include any system used by the U.S. Seek Product Registration Rule."