Killer Paper Clips
“One of the tools that teachers use to get kids jazzed about science–hands-on science kits–could face an uncertain future amid a debate on safety,” the Associated Press reports from Washington:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been mired for weeks in deliberation as it writes guidelines on what makes a product a “children’s product”–and consequently which products would have to undergo more stringent safety testing as part of a 2008 law. Caught up in the debate are the classroom science kits and some of the items they contain, such as paper clips to show kids how magnets work.
Science kit makers asked for a testing exemption for the paper clips and other materials. The commission declined to grant them a blanket waiver as part of the guidance the agency approved Wednesday on a 3-2 vote.
There are other absurdities, too. For instance: “While a lamp adorned with [a] teddy bear could be considered a child’s product, the same lamp without the bear decoration could be placed in a child’s room and require no testing whatsoever.”
But given the Democrats’ claims to be the party of science, the Obama administration’s war on science-kit paper clips is especially rich. At this rate, soon the only thing kids will be allowed to play with is stem cells.