Surprisingly, most of the clothing sold and manufactured in the United States today is regulated by a law enacted in 1953, the Flammable Fabrics Act. The law was enacted to remove only the most flammable garments, leaving unregulated countless other dangerous fabrics. As a result, every year thousands of people are injured and nearly two hundred die due to clothing-related burns. The Act provides minimal protection and is sorely outdated. More can and should be done.
An example of what can be done is the Children’s Sleepwear Standards Act, enacted by Congress in the 1970s. The goal of this Act was to protect children up to the age of 12 years from the unreasonable risk of burns caused by burning sleapwear. It has worked. The standards have resulted in a drastic reduction in clothing-related burn injuries and death to children.
Adults should not be mislead by labeling announcing the burn resistance or safety characteristics of their clothing. Language such as “Class one normal flammability” or “does not ignite,” terms commonly used in the industry, do not necessarily mean that a fabric will not ignite under real world conditions. Consider this: ordinary newsprint passes the standard of “Normal flammability.”
In some instances, state tort laws can be used to hold manufacturers accountable for dangerous garments, even though produced in accordance with the letter of the antiquated Flammable Fabrics Act of 1953.
If you, a friend or a loved one has been harmed by a dangerous product, you should consult with a lawyer to determine your rights. Our law firm has extensive experience representing individuals harmed by the negligence of others, including large and powerful corporations.
Contact us at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your legal rights.
Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.