AFSG Announces Plans to File Legal Action Against the CPSC

Greg Abel of Advocates for Safe Glass (AFSG) and Oregon Senator Vicki Walker are preparing to file legal action against the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for "failing to enforce federal regulations enacted in 1977 to protect the public against the dangers of wired glass," stated an announcement issued by Senator Walker's office.

The two are filing legal action against the CPSC for not removing the temporary exemption from the safety compliance standard that was given to wired glass in 1977. Since there were no other fire-rated glazing products at the time, the exemption allowed wired glass to be used in fire doors to ensure compliance with state and local fire codes.

The legal action, which will be filed as a writ of mandamus under the Administrative Procedures Act, will request judicial review of the CPSC's absence of discretion in failing to implement the federal ban on the use of glazing in doors that does not meet the CPSC standard 16 CFR 1201, the announcement stated.

In a letter dated May 12, 2004, from the CPSC to the International Code Council, the CPSC said that the wired glass exemption "is very narrow and only applies when use is required by fire codes and ordinances," the announcement said. It continued, saying that despite the fact that wired glass is no longer required by building codes enforced by state and local jurisdictions, the CPSC has still not stopped the use of wired glass at a national level.

"The CPSC has admitted it has jurisdiction over this dangerous product," said Senator Walker. "They have the ability to immediately issue safety advisories and a national recall to remove it from locations where it has been used illegally for [more than] a decade, and yet they choose to do nothing."

This announcement is the latest step taken by AFSG and Senator Walker to advance the use of safe glazing products in lieu of wired glass in schools, athletic facilities and public buildings where it can cause serious injuries. Their efforts have already been successful in that the states of Oregon and Washington, which have changed their building codes to eliminate the use of wired glass in new construction. AFSG was also successful in seeing the 2006 International Building Code changed to ban the use of wired glass that does not meet the CPSC standard.

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