CPSC Votes Final Ban On Lawn Darts

October 28, 1988
Release Number: 88089

The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 2 to 0 today to ban lawn darts. Commissioner Carol Dawson abstained. The ban will go into effect in mid-December. The regulatory proceeding on lawn darts began Oct. 20, 1987. After deciding that voluntary agreements on stricter labeling and marketing were not having the desired effect, the Commission voted 2-1 on May 25 to develop a lawn dart ban. The proposed ban was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 1988. Today's vote followed the public comment period -- the last step in the three-step congressionally mandated regulatory process.

During this time, the Commission has uncovered violations of current lawn dart regulations by two major American retailers. A civil contempt action has been brought against one major retailer.

The Commission has records of three deaths associated with lawn darts since 1970. Lawn darts are associated with an estimated 700 hospital emergency room treated injuries each year. This week, a Tennessee child was severely injured in a lawn-dart related accident.

"I am pleased the Commission today voted to complete the ban on lawn darts that was commenced by CPSC in July 1988," said CPSC Chairman Terrence Scanlon. "Not only have we completed the regulatory process expeditiously, but we have carried out the expressed will of the U.S. Congress." Congress passed its own ban of lawn darts on Oct. 21.

Commissioner Anne Graham said, "What limited recreational value lawn darts may have is far outweighed by the number of serious injuries and unnecessary deaths. This week another child was severely injured by a lawn dart. She is now in critical condition. There are numerous alternatives to lawn darts, and I would urge adults who have lawn darts to throw them away now."

For further information, call Dave Shiflett, 301-492-6580.