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Friday, February 4, 2005

Safetyland: Power Cords Are Hazardous!

I recently purchased an Ethernet switch from a vendor in Switzerland. It's the product of a U.S. company, assembled in the Far East. Inside the box was this enlightening sticker. Now we all know that in the U.S. risk is everywhere--unless alerted by prominent warning labels, preferably DayGlo® orange with 36 point bold black type--people will fold their baby strollers with the baby inside, scrub their backs with toilet brushes, or drive off in their cars having neglected to remove the sun-screen from the windshield. No doubt these folks also frequently plug in electrical appliances while firmly grasping the plug by both prongs, and I'm shocked, shocked that there's no warning label to avert them of the consequences--imagine the lawsuits! Anyway, even if you don't manage to electrocute yourself inserting or pulling the plug, in California anyway, you're still at risk of birth defects simply from handling the cord. (Presumably we're talking about your offspring being at risk although, this being California, perhaps one must take retrocausality into account.) But what I want to know is what safety precautions are in place for the workers in Asia who smear the toxic lead all over the cords! Note the warning on the warning sticker that "consumers" may have to cope with installing this sticker on a cord with a different shape than that illustrated. Also, they didn't note that lead ingestion can cause you to go crazy but, hey, in California, how could you tell?

Posted at February 4, 2005 21:15