Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Colder Weather Approaches... and "Don't Lawsuit Us!"

Colder weather as we head deeper into the fall season... new record lows the other day, yesterday hardly up to 40°, and this morning it's hovering just above the freezing mark.

Yesterday I was down in Waukon, and I stopped by the hardware store to pick up a new furnace filter. Also, Mr. UPS Man dropped off a box, new filters and a bottle of bacteriostatic treatment for my humidifier. Yes, humidifier season will soon be upon us.

I was fascinated to see that the bottle of bacteriostatic whatsis has on it some warnings which are almost certainly rooted in lawyer-induced fantasy. That is to say, these warnings are not at all true to life, and they bear no resemblance to any actual state of affairs experienced by, or expected of, any real-life user of the product.

To wit, and I quote off the side of the bottle:
Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing. Wear protective eyewear (goggles or face shield), protective clothing, and rubber gloves... Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling and before eating, drinking, chewing gum, or using tobacco. Remove contaminated clothing and wash before reuse.
Oh really? Are you sure that's not "Remove contaminated clothing and dispose of in a federally quarantined hazardous materials landfill as certified under Federal regulations DHOT3.141.v1547"?

I mean, really! Protective eyewear? Goggles or face shield?? Protective clothing??! Rubber gloves???!!!! What am I supposed to do, handle this stuff only while wearing a full-body environmental suit? I mean, yeah, granted, I want to avoid swallowing this stuff or getting it in my eyes, I wash my hands after use, etc. But this is fricking anti-bacterial stuff that you add a few capfuls of into your humidifier after filling it up with water! It's not plutonium 238!!!

I've still got an older, almost empty bottle of this stuff under my kitchen sink. Same identical ingredients, and it has just the usual common-sense warnings, "don't get it in your eyes," etc. Nothing about wearing goggles and a lead-lined smock while using it.

Do you suppose anyone in all the history of the human race has ever actually dressed up, as recommended in the precautions on the bottle, before pouring a capful of this stuff into their humidifier? Do you suppose the company lawyers who are no doubt responsible for this pseudo-precautionary verbiage ever envisioned anyone actually doing so? Or is it just more bilge and bullroar, self-protective anti-lawsuit mantra, "Don't lawsuit us if you didn't access our product via robotic arms from behind a three-foot thick lead shield!"



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I DO know someone who follows all the precautions on the bottle!

Its the same woman (and her husband, both sweet people) who insists that the kitchen committee at church wear latex gloves when serving the potluck. God Bless Her, she can't understand that we all cooked the food at home in our non-sterilized kitchens while NOT wearing the gloves!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 11:28:00 AM  

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