Release date: September 4, 1974
Release number: 74-064

Release Details

In a Federal Register notice published September 4, the Commission initiated proceedings for the development of mandatory safety standards to eliminate or reduce unreasonable risks of injury associated with bookmatches.

Any individual, association, established or ad hoc group may submit an existing standard for Commission consideration or volunteer to manage and direct the development of one or more proposed safety standards.

Bookmatches were associated with an estimated 6,200 injuries requiring hospital emergency room treatment from July 1, 1972, through December 31, 1972.

According to Commission analyses of injury data, the primary hazard that must be addressed is burn injuries sustained by children and others, including mentally or physically impaired persons, who play with matches or otherwise use them improperly.

Other hazards identified by the Commission that also should be addressed in a proposed safety rule include: burn injuries as a result of bookmatches that spark or fragment or have delayed ignition; eye injuries due to bookmatches that fragment and cause particles to lodge in the eye; burn injuries resulting from bookmatches that, when struck, ignite the remaining matches in the book; burn injuries that occur when the match book, after ignition, drops on the body or clothing: burn injuries due to unexpected ignition of the matchbook; burn injuries resulting from fires set by after-glow of extinguished matches.

Regardless of who may be chosen to develop a proposed standard, standards development activities must be open to the participation of all interested parties, including consumers, consumer organizations, representatives of industry, government and the scientific and academic communities. Offerors must include a plan and method by which interested persons will be able to participate.

Offers must be received in the Office of the Secretary of the Commission by October 4, 1974. Late submissions will not be considered.

The offeror or offerors selected will have 150 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to complete proposed safety rules unless the Commission determines that a different length of time is appropriate.

The detailed Federal Register notice includes information about injuries, existing standards, and procedures to be followed when submitting an existing standard, preparing an offer or seeking a financial contribution from the Commission to assist development of a more satisfactory standard.

The Commission notes that a contribution to costs will be the exception rather than the rule, and it expects that the bulk of work will be done by volunteers or funded by non-Commission sources.

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