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The price of substituting cheap plastic for steel parts
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
As long as I can remember drop-side baby cribs have functioned normally without incident.  Then at some point regulations which required robust metal hardware in crib fabrication were lost in the era of deregulation, and cheap plastic “hardware” began to bolster profit margins by replacing the more durable material.  

Now we see reports of babies being killed when the cheap plastic parts break.  The replacement of steel with petro-chemicals has been a general malaise in many products which for the most part don’t represent a safety hazard but only the inconvenience of having to spend more money to replace shoddy products.  To be fair it should be stated that many modern polymers work very well in a multitude of applications; however the inappropriate use of plastic is just a form of theft and in the more extreme cases have killed not only babies but children and adults of all ages.  It is time to reregulate across the board.  I can’t even imagine the tragic heart break of finding a baby dead in its crib because some foreign manufacturer was allowed to use cheap plastic parts by a government that in all likelihood was paid to look the other way.
Steven J. Catalano
Nov. 24, 2009