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CPSC Announces Pacifier Ban

Release Date: June 16, 1977

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced a ban of hazardous pacifiers.

The ban takes effect for pacifiers introduced into interstate commerce 240 days (8 months) after date of publication in the Federal Register which is expected in the next week.

Ten deaths and seven choking incidents (which did not result in death) involving pacifiers have been reported to the Commission.

The regulation, which was proposed for public comment in October 1976, requires a guard or shield on the pacifier of sufficient size so that the entire pacifier cannot be drawn into the child's mouth. The shield is also required to have at least two ventilation holes to facilitate breathing in the event the pacifier is swallowed. Additionally the regulation includes design criteria regarding protrusions and fragmentation which address the separate hazards of a child falling or rolling over with the pacifier in its mouth and a child swallowing a small part of the pacifier.

No pacifier introduced into interstate commerce after the effective date can be sold with ribbons, string, cords, and similar items attached and all pacifiers must be labeled: WARNING - DO NOT TIE PACIFIER AROUND CHILD'S NECK AS IT PRESENTS STRANGULATION DANGER.

Some 15 million pacifiers are sold annually in the U.S. and the Commission believes that domestic manufacturers can make the changes necessary to comply with the regulation within six months. Due to the added time for transoceanic shipping the Commission made the effective date 8 months from publication so as not to put foreign manufacturers at an unfair competitive disadvantage.

Once the regulation takes effect the Commission estimates the retail price of some pacifiers may increase from 2 to 10 cents and for others retail prices will probably not show any increase.

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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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