Friday, May 21, 2010

Testing, testing


Lest outbreaks of e.coli and other horrors lead you to think nobody is checking up on products for safety and efficacy, enter Consumer Union, the nonprofit that publishes Consumer Reports Magazine.

According to a piece in the WSJ by Gwendolyn Bounds (May 5, 2010), technicians in Yonkers NY test 3,000 product models annually.

Recently, even a Lexus did not meet their standards and thousands were recalled for repairs.

Consumers Union has been under a cloud because of bad reporting by labs it contracted to, but it has apologized and is keeping tighter control.

Many things go flooey in the labs from time to time—bread burning in a toaster, molten metal almost hitting a tester. Another tester had to amass 9,000 condoms from machines in men’s rooms—that must have been fun.

In one test, Maine coon cat hair was thrown on rug segments to test vacuums. In another, sawdust was used to test snow blowers in summer.

The company even buys pre-soiled cloth with body oils on it to test washers.

This could even be a place to get a job if you can tell 1% milk from 2% and have finely tuned sensory organs.

The boxes. Yes, this is my personal theory…Almost all household items are boxes. Washers are boxes of water, dryers and refrigerators boxes of air, vacuum cleaners boxes of no air…etc.

No point, really. I just felt like saying that.

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