In a letter to the editor in today’s Boston Herald, Harry Shuris of Winchester mocked the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission for forcing a recall of a novelty chair decorated with lead paint. His letter ended as follows:
Message to the USCPSC: Pencils contain “excessive amounts of lead.” I would venture to say that at any given time there are more kids chewing on pencils than on basketball-shaped chairs.
Everybody who knows what’s wrong with this picture, raise your hands.
Here’s the letter I sent to the Herald in response:
Recalling such items is not useless make-work as Harry Shuris suggests (“Agency’s ‘busy’ work”, June 1), but rather is critical to consumer safety.
I’m sure Mr. Shuris thought he was being particularly clever when he asked why the Consumer Products Safety Commission hasn’t recalled lead pencils as well. That would be a reasonable question to ask were it not for the fact that lead pencils don’t actually contain any lead.