Monday, July 12, 2010

Myth #4: The Pool Safety Council has no financial interest in secondary systems.

Just as health insurance companies lobby Congress and federal agencies for healthcare solutions that benefit their bottom line, it is not surprising that people who develop and sell back-up systems created an association to promote the use of their product. In fact, the founder of the Pool Safety Council, a group that has lobbied Congress and other organizations to require that all pools have back-up system technology, was the President of a back-up system manufacturer until only this past February.

The Pool Safety Council is promoting their petition claiming the CPSC “reversed their guidance of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB), removing important entrapment prevention requirements.” However, unblockable drain covers are the safest form of protection against entrapments. They are the only safeguard against all five types of entrapment and the only choice that prevents entrapment from occurring in the first place. If we had not found an unblockable drain cover to be sufficient, there would be no incentive for pool owners to install unblockable drain covers in addition to a costly back-up system, and thus pools would not have the most effective form of protection.

The petition goes on to say, “The reversal brings into question the influence representatives from the pool industry have in CPSC's decision-making process.” In fact, no group has pressured CPSC more than the Pool Safety Council. Speaking for myself, I have had no communication from any other pool representative except for those that have a financial interest in requiring back-up systems. I consider it a triumph of safety over special interests that despite all the pressure from those who have financial interest in requiring back-up systems, that the CPSC decided to adopt a new, safer technology. The Pool Safety Council lobbies for a tighter definition of unblockable drain because pools with unblockable drains are not required to buy their product!

The Commission is responsible for making decisions that promote safety and in this case, making sure that every public pool is as safe as possible. When we adopted the determination that an unblockable drain cover is equivalent to an unblockable drain, we made that decision based on safety.

For more information on the founder of the Pool Safety Council, click here: Pennington Leaves Vac-Alert

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