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STATEMENT OF ROBERT L. Davis, VICE PRESIDENT, Davis AIRCRAFT PRODUCTS,

Inc., NORTHPORT, LONG ISLAND, N.Y. Mr. Chairman, I am

Robert L. Davis, vice president, Davis Aircraft Products, Inc., Northport, Long Island, N.Y. I am a member of the legislative committee of the American Seat Belt Council which comprises numerous manufacturers in the seat belt industry. I appear here today as a representative of the Davis Aircraft Products Corp., the American Seat Belt Council and as a private citizen in support of the principals of the bill being considered today, H.R. 133, to amend title 3 of the Public Health Service Act to establish a National Accident Prevention Center,

First, I should like to tell you a little bit about the American Seat Belt Council. This council was established to insure that seat belts that are manufactured would meet adequate safety standards. All members of the American Seat Belt Council must comply with the standards adopted by the council and all seat belts sold must carry the stamp of approval of the council. This stamp of approval guarantees that the belts have been tested to current SAE standards.

As you can see, the various industries that are members of the council are vitally concerned with safety and I believe that the establishment of an accident prevention center such as the one proposed in H.R. 133 would be one of the greatest steps ever taken to systematically attack the epidemic problem of accidents. As I understand it, the purpose of such a center would be to correlate all available knowledge relating to cause and prevention of accidents.

I further understand that the legislation would provide a special authority to create a unit comparable to the Communicable Disease Center, the Sanitary Engineering Center, and the Arctic Health Research Center.

It would encompass research into medical (and psychological) and environmental (engineering) causes and preventive measures, pilot studies, demonstrations, technical aid, and project grant activities. In addition, machinery would be set into motion to enumerate types of causes such as vehicular, home, occupational (with the exception of certain phases), and farm accidents.

We, of the American Seat Belt Council, believe that such a center as the proposed National Accident Prevention Center is vital and is an augmentation and not a duplication of the activities currently being carried on by the various departments of the Government, the National Safety Council, and organizations such as the American Automobile Association and others. These organizations currently are performing meritorious service. However, the council feels that the correlation of the information provided by these various organizations, associations, and governmental agencies, is essential if we are to obtain all information possible with regard to accidents and in order to prevent these accidents. It would provide a central source of information such as the Congress has in the Library of Congress and its Legislative Reference Center and such as the Institute of Health has in its Medical Library. It seems to me that the centralization of information will provide a most necessary adjunct to the safety program, and again I say that I, as an individual, ar as a representative of Davis Aircraft Corp., and as a member of the American Seat Belt Council Legislative Committee, heartily endorse the principles of this legislation and the continuing efforts of this committee.

STATEMENT BY DAVID M. MARSH, MANAGER, ASSOCIATION OF CASUALTY AND

SURETY COMPANIES

The Association of Casualty and Surety Companies is a voluntary nonprofit organization with a membership of 131 capital stock insurance companies. We take pleasure in submitting the following recommendations regarding H.R. 133.

In the view of this association, based upon many years of experience in support of measures directed toward the prevention of highway traffic accidents, Congress should enact this measure following its amendment by your committee to more accurately define its purpose and to limit its scope to the encouragement and implementation, by all possible means, of research projects designed to enable responsible official agencies, at all levels of government, to effect those measures necessary to the control of the highway traffic accident problem.

While fully in accord with the Federal Government adopting every reasonable means to encourage States and cities (in both their official and nonofficial capacities) to attack the problem of highway traffic accident prevention, we strongly urge that Congress refrain from the enactment of any measure which, in its application, would in any way encroach upon the responsibility of State and city

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government for the regulation and supervision of the movement of all manner of traffic on public streets and highways. Further, we urge that any such bill enacted by Congress should clearly avoid giving the Federal Government any authority to control public and private traffic action programs other than that which presently exists and further, such a bill should not operate either to discourage or in any manner curtail the programs and activities of State and local private agencies now doing so much that is good in the cause of highway safety.

We appreciate the interest of this subcommittee and of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce in the important field of traffic safety.

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STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION BY EDWARD PRESS,

M.D., M.P.H., CHAIRMAN, ACCIDENT PREVENTION COMMITTEE

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I have appeared before this subcommittee on February 8, 1962, for a similar statement. The statement was submitted and the discussion at the time, has been printed in the records of the subcommittee hearing and I shall not takeyour time to detail its contents again.

In summary, I explained that I testified as spokesman for the American Public Health Association and its branches and affiliates in 48 States in this country. I referred to 10 separate resoltuions on the subject of accident prevention passed during the annual general conclaves of the American Public Health Association in the past 11 years. This association is not limited to physicians in public health only but includes a wide variety of persons such as nurses, nutritionists, engineers, administrators, inspectors, etc.

One of these resolutions, passed 7 years ago, resolved “that consideration be given to the advisability of establishing within the Federal Government a National Accident Prevention Center to coordinate the activities of various accident prevention agencies in order to improve the safety of the people of the United States through conducting research, investigations, experiments, and demonstrations relating to the cause of and means of preventing accidents."

I also gave examples of how such a center might have expedited research in the prevention and treatment of periodic increases in accidents as well as regularly recurring accidents that could in a way be considered "epidemics” and “endemics' of accidents. Examples were cited in the fields of lead poisoning and of injuries from wringer-type, home washing machines. The relatively scant amount of research funds devoted to accidents and the need for greater coordination of safety activities were also mentioned.

Rather than review in any more detail the material already presented, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on one of the points raised in last year's hearings. It had to do with an opinion that the prevention of accidents was an engineering science rather than a medical activity and that the emphasis put on the medical and psychological aspects of accident prevention (through placing the Center in the Public Health Service) would result in a disruption of the safety movement. There were also opinions that the proposed research or activities might conflict with or duplicate existing activities under other auspices. In relation to this latter point, it would not be difficult to include amendments in the bill that would result in obtaining advice, consultation, and/or consent by representatives of other agencies involved when and if potential conflicting or duplicating activities might be undertaken. However, most administrators would consider this part of the standard operating procedure.

I would like to cite an example of a specific type of accident that I believe would serve to illustrate how one of the problems in this area could more expeditiously be attacked with the aid of an Accident Prevention Research Center or laboratory.

I happen to be chairman of a Committee on Hazards to Children of the American Standards Association which incidentally is basically an engineering group. One of the projects on which this committee is working is the exploration of flame resistant standards for children's clothing. Some of you will remember the outbreak or "epidemic" of injuries and fatalities resulting from the introduction of children's cowboy chaps with long rayon pile fibers and the “torch" sweaters made out of similar fabrics. The culprit in this instance was not so much increased carelessness or increased exposure to fire but a considerably increased flammability of the {abric. As an indirect result and after a latent "incubation" period of 9 years from the cowboy chaps incident and 3 years from the more spectacular human “torch” sweaters, a Federal Flammability Fabrics Act was

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put into effect. This helped by prohibiting excessively flammable fabrics from being sold in the United States. Although this measure largely controlled burns from very highly flammable clothing, it had relatively little effect on the continuing week-by-week “endemic” burns from other types of clothing catching on fire. How could a National Accident Prevention Research Laboratory help this? In my opinion, there are several ways:

I. SHARPER DELINEATION OF THE PROBLEM

In spite of the hard work by the National Fire Protective Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Trade Commission, and members of the chemical and cotton industry, the progress was relatively slow in delineating the details of the problem. Specific well-documented information on all the major circumstances involved in the casualties was and is scant. Even now, 18 years after the cowboy chaps incidents and 12 years after the “torch" sweaters, we still do not know how many people in this country die or are injured from clothing fires. I contacted officials of the National Fire Protective Association, the U.S. Public Health Service, the National Safety Council, the National Board of Fire Underwriters and others. Not one of them could give me specific figures, even on fatalities.

Newspaper accounts similar to those in exhibit A attached were clear indications that a substantial problem existed. Finally, I made a personal visit to the Cook County (Chicago) coroner's office and with the aid of personal phone calls to the coroner in Cleveland, Ohio, and Miami, Fla., some specific facts were elicited. For example, during 1962, a total of 27 persons lost their lives because their clothing caught fire in Cook County, 21 of these in the city of Chicago and 6 in the suburban areas of the county. In Cuyahoga County, which includes the city of Cleveland and has a population of 1,750,000 persons, there were 23 deaths in 1962, stemming from the ignition of clothing. In Dade County, Fla., because of the mild temperature only a minimum of space heating is required. In 1960 there were five deaths there.

In 1960, according to the National Vital Statistics Division of the Public Health Service, there were a total of 7,645 deaths as a result of fire and explosion. This includes several other types of deaths besides those due to clothing. A statistical study by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. estimates that 13 percent of deaths from burns among their policyholders were due to the ignition of clothing. If we were to extrapolate this figure of 13 percent to the national total of 7,645, it would amount to 994. This excludes an additional 13 percent where burns ensued in connection with smoking in bed or in an upholstered chair.

2. FLAMMABLE FABRICS STANDARDS

As a result of the Flammable Fabrics Act, which became effective on June 30, 1954, the Secretary of Commerce promulgated a safety standard (Flammability of Clothing, Textiles, Commercial Standard 191–53) and developed rules and regulations in this area.

This current standard for plain surface textile fabrics, for example, is calibrated to allow fabric to be sold unless it is so dangerous that it ignites in 1 second. Even then, if it does not burn rapidly enough for the flame to travel 5 inches in 342 seconds with the cloth at a 45° angle, it is considered safe for wearing apparel. In a study of about 100 burned cases that were severe enough to require hospital treatment, undertaken by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, it was found that 109 of 120 different clothing samples tested took more than 1 second to ignite. In none of the fabrics involved did the flame travel the 5 inches at a 45° angle in 372 seconds or less. They all took longer than this. Thus, although the Federal Flammable Fabrics Act is a definitely helpful step forward, I feel that if a National Center for Accident Prevention Research was in operation, this step would have been made more effective, would have been taken sooner, and additional steps would probably have been taken.

3. RESEARCH ON FLAME RETARDANTS

A considerable amount of research has been done on flame retardants. In summary, it was found that chemical compounds containing phosphorus and nitrogen gave excellent flame resistant qualities to textiles. A compound called THPC (tetrakishydroxymethylphosphonium chloride) is mixed with another one called APO, whose chemical name is tris (1-aziridinyl) phosphine oxide. By mixing THPC and APO in a 1-to-1 mole ratio, wetting the fabric, squeezing out the excess solution, drying, during and washing, a good flame retardant fabric results. Samples of such fabrics have been laundered over 100 times in home laundry washing machines and have been subjected to 60 or more commercial launderings including chlorine bleaching without losing flame retardancy. They have also retained crease resistance, rot resistance, mildew resistance, and glow resistance.

1 Statistical Bulletin, October 1980, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

You may be interested in ing and feeling some of these fabrics so treated and noting the difference in flammability. (Sample fabrics circulated and difference demonstrated.) Unfortunately, this treatment also adds to the cost of the fabric and depending on the volume manufactured, this additional cost amounts to from 4 to 13 or more cents per yard for the fabric treated. As far as most of the cotton industry is concerned, they feel the public is not willing to pay the additional cost unless it gets down to a range of 34 cents per yard. Thus, at the present time, for general clothing purposes, relatively little of the commonly marketed material has been treated with flame retardants.

I feel that with the aid and assistance of a National Accident Prevention Research Laboratory, progress in this area could be greatly expedited, not only in the field of more research but also in the areas of education and application of research.

In summary, I believe that in just this single area of accident prevention that pertains to one type of burn that kills about 1,000 persons annually—the type associated with the ignition of clothing-scores or hundreds of lives could be saved years earlier with such a center or laboratory than without. Similar benefits, in my opinion, would result in many other areas of accident prevention.

STATEMENT BY J. Austin LATIMER, COUNSEL FOR AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE INDUSTRY

AssoCIATION

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Mr. Chairman, gentlemen of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to submit this statement on behalf of the Automotive Service Industry Association, located at 168 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill. ASIA, as it is known, is a nonprofit trade association serving manufacturers, wholesalers, warehouse distributors, and rebuilders of automotive parts, equipment, tools, supplies, accessories, chemicals, and refinishing materials, with membership affiliations of over 10,000 firms, representing nearly a half million people, employed in the automotive aftermarket.

Obviously, as an association in the automotive service field, we have both an individual's interest and stake in highway safety, as well as a professional concern. Our thousands of firms and members and their families make up a great segment of the motoring public. Our association's safety slogan has long been "Highway Safety Is Our Business."

It is our segment of the automotive business which, since the early days of the auto industry, has contributed so much to highway safety by making available through the years products which have become standard equipment on today's motor vehicles—items such as the windshield, the headlight, tail light, direction signals, horns, windshield wipers, and so on. Like Marconi and his radio, certain circles scoffed at some of these items and action was deferred for years before they were accepted.

We have a long history of interest in legislation pertinent to the motor vehicle and its appurtenances. That explains our interest in appearing at this hearing on H.R. 133, because it may well affect the research necessary, the coordination desirable and the stimulation long overdue to cut the needless slaughter on our highways.

As you know there are many groups active in safety work, with a long line of credits” to whom they contribute or with whom they cooperate, as well as studies they have made of the many facets of automotive safety. We are not devoting ourselves to driver education, although we favor it; we are not working actively for improvements in the vehicle registration methods nor highway engineering, although we admit changes may be desirable. We are not developing counter agents for the drunken driver problem, much as we oppose it and many other accident problems. We are devoting ourselves to a concentrated effort to foster State regulated periodic motor vehicle inspection, because motor vehicle maintenance and the inherent safety values therein, is something we know about.

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