Monday, April 4, 2011

Message to manufacturers: don't sell cheap dangerous products!

The Abnormal Use blog has a good short comment (here) with excellent advice to all manufacturers out there: "Do not sell devices designed to combust in the middle ear. It is not worth the $2 you will generate in revenue. Sell something else." The comment is about a recent product liability claim related to a product used for "ear candling" - an alternative medicine practice that claims to improve general health by lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in the ear canal. Sounds crazy but it is true. Follow the links in the comment for more information. The Abnormal Use's advice is right on point. The case, you see, presents this interesting problem: assume you have a product designed to - and the sole purpose of which is to - place hot wax right over your ear. Hot wax can burn your skin. That's common knowledge. The plaintiff uses the product exactly as it was meant to be used and suffers a burn as a result. Was the product fit for its intended use? I guess so, but its intended use was more than likely going to cause more harm than good. So how should we react to the product? Just as Abnormal Use suggests, just please don't bother manufacturing anymore! There are products out there that, although they may provide some benefit to society, are so dangerous that we'd rather see them taken off the market. This seems to be one of them. Use your candles for romantic dinners, keep them out of your ears!

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