Release Date: March 16, 2011
Washington, DC – Citing the millions of sports-related concussions affecting consumers, the National Consumers League (NCL) today applauded the introduction of legislation to improve youth football helmet safety by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico.
“The lack of an effective football helmet safety standard that addresses concussion risk puts millions of youth football players in danger,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director. “Research into the long-term impact of concussions, particularly on children and teens, shows that this is serious risk and needs to be addressed at the national level.”
The proposed Children’s Sports Athletic Equipment Safety Act would require makers of football helmets to develop a voluntary safety standard for helmets that address concussion risk and the needs of youth players. The standards would be subject to review by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Should the voluntary standards prove insufficient to addressing concussion risk in new and reconditioned youth helmets, the CPSC would be directed to issue mandatory safety rules for football helmets. The legislation also contains provisions that would require independent third-party testing and certification of adult football helmets should the voluntary standards be insufficient.
“We are troubled by reports of lax oversight of reconditioned football equipment, particularly helmets,” said John Breyault, NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud. “The proposed legislation would provide parents with greater certainty that the equipment protecting their children is held to the highest safety standards.”
About the National Consumers League
Founded in 1899, the National Consumers League is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. NCL is a private, nonprofit membership organization. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org