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Official editions of publications of the National Commission on Product Safety may be freely used, duplicated or published, in whole or in part, except to the extent that, where expressly noted in the pub lications, they contain copyrighted materials reprinted by permission of the copyright holders. Photographs may have been copyrighted by the owners, and permission to reproduce may be required.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CARD NUMBER 76 - 606753
Washington, D. C.
HUGH L. RAY Director, Merchandise Development and Testing Laboratory, Sears, Roebuck and Company, Chicago, Illinois
(Retired January 1970)
San Antonio, Texas
The National Commission on Product Safety was authorized by Public Law 90 146. The Commission was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on March 27, 1968. The findings, conclusions, and recommendations which follow are the end product of the intervening efforts of the seven-man, bipartisan Commission, the staff, and a number of contractors retained by the Commission for insight into specialized fields.
When it authorized the Commission, Congress recognized that modern technology poses a threat to the physical security of consumers. We find the threat to be bona fide and menacing. Moreover, we believe that, without effective governmental intervention, the abundance and variety of unreasonable hazards associated with consumer products cannot be reduced to a level befitting a just and civilized society.
Rhetoric, educational campaigns, piecemeal legislation, and appeals to conscience serve the useful function of mitigating the fallout of injuries induced by our complex technology. But we believe, on the basis of the evidence presented to us, that a concerned government can and should provide a continuing system to assure that our great technological resources are used to protect consumers from unreasonable product risks.
Perhaps a case can be made for the acceptability of wilful personal risk-taking by an occasional well-informed consumer, but there is no justification for exposing an entire populace to risks of injury or death which are not necessary and