(CPSC) banned lawn darts after the game caused thousands of injuries and
The list of products banned for public health purposes is extensive. It includes items ranging from asbestos12 and insulation foam containing formaldehyde,
13 to Buckyballs14 and toys found in children’s fast-food meals.
Public health bans further encompass several consumable products, such as
17 Four Loko18 and other energy drinks,
19 food coloring
themselves. In 1949, Maryland’s House of Delegates passed a bill banning the use of lead
paint on children’s toys and furniture—a law that was repealed under industry pressure the
following year. A few years later, the City of Baltimore health department required a warning label be placed on paint cans.”).
11. Lawn darts are an outdoor game that involved throwing metal-tipped darts toward a
target. See Bob Baker, Demands Ban on Lawn Darts: Daughter’s Death Spurs a Father’s
Sad Crusade, L. A. TIMES, Sept. 27, 1987, at 1-1. When CPSC decided to ban lawn darts, it
attributed three deaths to the game. Press Release, Consumer Prod. Safety Comm’n, CPSC
Votes Final Ban On Lawn Darts (Oct. 28, 1988), http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-
Releases/1988/CPSC-Votes-Final-Ban-On-Lawn-Darts/. The CPSC further estimated that
lawn darts caused roughly 700 hospital emergency room treated injuries each year. Id.
12. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) summarizes various bans on asbestos
products. Envtl. Prot. Agency, U.S. Federal Bans on Asbestos, http://www2.epa.gov/
asbestos/us-federal-bans-asbestos (last visited May 22, 2014).
13. CPSC voted to ban the foam in 1982. Press Release, Consumer Prod. Safety
Comm’n, CPSC Bans Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI) (Mar. 1, 1982),
Foam-Insulation-UFFI/; see also Peter Kerr, Foam Insulation: Questions Remain, N.Y.
TIMES, Apr. 1, 1982, at C1.
14. CPSC first filed a complaint against the maker of Buckyballs in 2012 to ban the
product. Press Release, Consumer Prod. Safety Comm’n, CPSC Sues Maxfield & Oberton
Over Hazardous Buckyballs and Buckycube Desk Toys Action Prompted by Ongoing Harm
to Children from Ingested Magnets (July 25, 2012),
Buckyballs-and-Buckycube-Desk-Toys-Action-prompted-by-ongoing-harm-to-children-from-ingested-magnets-/. Buckyballs are small, round rare earth magnets that are sold as
toys and desktop accessories. Id. When children swallow them the toy can pinch or trap intestines, which may require surgery to remove. Id. Since they went on the market in 2009,
numerous incidents involving children have been reported. Id. In January 2011, a four-year-old boy had his intestine perforated after he swallowed three magnets he thought were chocolate candy. Id.
15. In 2010, Santa Clara County, California became the first in the nation to ban toys
from fast-food children’s meals that were high in calories, salt, fat, and sugar, based on the
notion that banning the toys would make the meals less appealing to kids. Alice Park, Can
Fast-Food Toy Bans Really Help Kids Eat Better?, TIME (Dec. 8, 2011), http://healthland
16. Nat’l Conference State Legislatures, Raw Milk (Jan. 9, 2014), http://www.ncsl.org
/research/agriculture-and-rural-development/ raw-milk-2012.aspx (providing a summary of
federal and state laws regarding raw milk consumption).
17. Since 1971, the U.S. has banned the food, haggis, imported from the United Kingdom because it contains sheep lung. Jon Kelly, The offal truth about American haggis, BBC
NEWS (Jan. 22, 2013),
18. Letter from Joann M. Givens, Acting Director, Office of Compliance, Ctr. for Food
Safety & Applied Nutrition, Food & Drug Admin., to Jaisen Freeman, Chris Hunter & Jeff