Unwittingly, parents across America have done the equivalent of giving their children batteries to suck on. Here’s why. Pink and Purple “Sassy Chic


Little kids put little balls in their mouths. The Empire State Consumer Association feared that a couple of these cadmium beads might just kill a toddler, or at the very least, put one in an Aqua Dot stupor. Remember Aqua Dots? Those are the Chinese-made poison pills from last week. Coated with the banned date rape drug, the toy beads caused comas and seizures in youngsters who popped them in their mouths.


That’s all very nice, the CPSC told the Empire State group, send along your test results and we’ll see what we can do. That was a week ago. It doesn’t take a week to test a Sassy Chic for cadmium. Still, the CPSC has not recalled the Sassy Chic.

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In the wasted week, Americans must wonder how many more cheap Sassy Chic bracelets sold at dollar stores across the country, and how many little kids ripped them apart and chased the little metal beads across the floor and slipped a few into their mouths, where the effect could be significantly more toxic than sucking on batteries. At least batteries have a non-cadmium metal coating.


The CPSC gets lots of allegations about product safety, but when the Empire State Consumer Association calls, the CPSC needs to pay attention. Empire State has a proven track record. Braiman served as an advisor for the CPSC from 1975 to 1977, two decades before the Bush Administration turned the CPSC into a shill for big business. And the Empire State group’s 36-year-old toy testing program has been responsible for the recall of millions of dangerous toys though the CPSC in the past.


The American public deserves a CPSC that actually protects it from dangerous products. As long as Nancy Nord serves as acting chair of the CPSC, it will not perform that function. It will ignore calls from consumer groups trying to warn about cadmium-laden bracelets. It will urge Congress not to pass legislation that would give the agency more money and sanction power to do its job right. It will allow Nancy Nord to take money from the very industries the CPSC is supposed to regulate to pay for “gift trips