Each year, a group called the Center for America, which is critical of frivolous lawsits, selects the year’s top five “Wacky Warning Labels.”
For instance, it once found a stern advisory on a package of rat poison: “Warning: Has Been Found to Cause Cancer in Laboratory Mice.”
This year’s dubious “winners” are out. They include this warning on an electric razor: “Never Use While Sleeping.”
And this one on an office desk accessory that looks like the steering wheel of a car: “Never use this product while driving.”
But the grand prize of $1,000 went to the person who found the following warning attached to a little decorative globe: “These globes should not be referred to for navigation.”
Warning labels on products can be useful when they alert you to a danger that’s not obvious.
But if you read some of these labels on toys, household appliances, and gadgets sold in the United States, you’d have to conclude that the manufacturers think we’re not very bright.
They apparently issue these warnings because they’re worried that people will do stupid things with their products, hurt themselves, and blame the company.
The messages say such things as: “Don’t take this toaster into the bathtub with you.” Or . . . “Don’t operate this airplane unless you’ve had flying lessons.”
Over the years, we’ve seen warnings such as one on a child’s scooter: “This product moves when used.” As if we didn’t know that.
And this one, on a kitchen blender that whips, chops, and dices: “Never remove food from the blades while the product is operating.” Ya think?
Then there was this label on a curling iron. It read, “For External Use Only.” And this one, on a box of hammers. Hammers! “May be harmful if swallowed.” No kidding!