The illusion of safety with industry standards

ASTM International, a Pennsylvania-based group that sets voluntary safety standards, last week eliminated its guidelines for drop-side cribs, citing complaints about hardware failures,” as reported in the Bloomburg News on November 24.

“ASTM’s action will probably lead most major retailers to stop carrying such cribs, said Donald Mays, senior director of product safety and technical policy at Consumer Reports magazine.” He the “current federal regulation for cribs is grossly inadequate and they need to move quickly to update that regulation to ensure that cribs are safe after years of use.”

As an attorney who handles defective product cases I often hear the claim the dangerous product conformed with industry standards or regulations. The problem with this argument is that standards are set by the industry representatives and are often very lax and may protect the industry, not the consumer.