Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Under penalty of law

You know how mattresses come with a bunch of labels attached?  You know the ones I'm talking about.  The ones that say do not remove under penalty of law . . . it may even be a felony to remove said tag depending on the state in which said tag is removed from a mattress.  

What's up with that? Will an alarm sound if I rip the tag off? Is there some kind of mattress police out there who respond to tag removals? When I was a little kid I was indeed afraid such a thing would happen.  

But really, is someone really going to toss me in jail if I remove the tags from my mattress . . . the one I bought and paid for? 


So why is that tag there?

A couple hundred years ago the population of the United States was booming . . . consequently, another thing that was booming was the spread of communicable diseases from parasites like lice to devastating ailments like tuberculosis  

One of the things that propagated the spread of these maladies was mattresses . . . that is mattresses being restuffed with used bedding and other discarded materials.  Stuff that was potentially contaminated with bugs, germs and other ickiness.

So, in an attempt to stop this unsafe practice, federal and state regulators enacted laws that required that all mattresses contain a tag listing the contents of the mattress and the materials used to make it.  The tags were in place to make sure retailers didn't try sell a mattress as new if it contained recycled materials.  The laws and consequent penalties are there to protect you not persecute you.  

However, you may want to actually read the tag before buying a mattess.  It contains a list of materials used to make the matress . . . you never know, the label may say that it contains mummified offal from the meat processing plant.  Hey, it could happen.

You may also have noticed that stuff toys come with a tag on them that reads "made with all new materials" . . . like some company is going to stuff a child's toy with garbage or something.  Yeah, they used to do that, too.  

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