Wacky warning labels and the wacko's that need 'em
January 7, 2005 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Wacky Warning Labels: Toilet brush that warns, "Do NOT use for personal hygiene." Have you ever been so desperate to fight plaque and gingivitis?
posted by icontemplate (21 comments total)
Hey, the 2nd place guy is from my hometown! All right!

Does anybody remember the guy in that one Hitchhiker's Guide book that enclosed the entire earth in an insane asylum because he saw a pack of toothpicks with instructions on the box?
posted by buriednexttoyou at 3:09 PM on January 7, 2005

what about hairdryer tags that say "do not use in shower?"
Mine has one of those.
posted by cilantro at 3:13 PM on January 7, 2005

Is MLAW one of those organizations that would -- if it had its way -- severely weaken consumer rights under the aegis of stopping people like the apocryphal Woman From New Mexico who won $1,000,000,000 for walking into a McDonald's and cackling as she poured gallon after gallon of cold coffee on herself? You know, by limiting personal injury lawsuits to $10 and a free meal at a participating IHOP?

Something seems unsavory about their website and I'm always worried that those "Gosh, aren't people dumb?" sorts of lists don't tell the full stories...

On a more serious note: My favorite solution to the supposed lawsuit abuse problem would be to allow much of the punative damages to go into public coffers. So the filer of the lawsuit would receive compensation but the people of the state of California, say, would benefit as well. And large corporations could still be kicked in the financial crotch for screwing up.
posted by chasing at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2005

litigation explosion is hurting America

Did someone say explosion?
(chases ambulance)
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2005

Have you ever been so desperate to fight plaque and gingivitis?

But what about that "not-so-fresh" feeling?
posted by vetiver at 3:36 PM on January 7, 2005

Toilet brush that warns, "Do NOT use for personal hygiene."

All because of one Polish joke.
posted by yerfatma at 3:40 PM on January 7, 2005

In fairness, these labels are not for the average customer, or even for the ignorant customer who might use that packaging material for a baby pillow. It’s for the lawyers, who can later say to the judge, “We told her in writing not to do that.”

Here’s my submission:



If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give
artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen.
Call a physician.
In case of eye contact, flush with water for 15 minutes.
in case of fire, use water spray, foam, dry chemical or
Carbon Dioxide.

Contains water, IPA, shellac, protein, fatty acid soaps, ammonia, silicone
antifoam, and propylparaben as a wax preservative.

…and it goes on and on with WARRANTY AND DISCLAIMER

…and this label is from a drum of…


…the shiny stuff they spray on apples to make them pretty in the supermarket.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:44 PM on January 7, 2005

also see here
posted by TheIrreverend at 3:45 PM on January 7, 2005

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
posted by Wet Spot at 3:51 PM on January 7, 2005

Yeah, but shellac is commonly used in the candy industry. We've all eaten it. It's just bug poop dissolved in alcohol. All that other stuff is just the carrier that evaporates, leaving lac excrement on your apples.
posted by fixedgear at 4:27 PM on January 7, 2005

Erm... is the concern really that it will be used for teeth? I mean, it's a handy brush next to a water source, so one might foresee problems with people using it to clean around their anuses after defaecating.
posted by alasdair at 4:28 PM on January 7, 2005

No, no--that's what thermometers are for.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:54 PM on January 7, 2005

posted by pyramid termite at 4:55 PM on January 7, 2005

D'oh. Didn't mean to write about plaque and gingivitis.
posted by icontemplate at 5:20 PM on January 7, 2005

This page on the same site contains a listing of a number of frivolous lawsuits.
posted by sour cream at 9:23 PM on January 7, 2005

Hasn't Jay Leno and John Carson been doing this for decades?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:35 PM on January 7, 2005

Those are the sane ones.
posted by wildeep at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2005

Look at the "about us" list and you'll see a lot of connections to businesses with evident reasons to want limits on their liability--"concerned citizens" like the president of Amigo Mobility, the head of neurosurgery at a Grand Rapids hospital, the founder of Koegel Meats (think e. coli), et al. Director Emeritus is from Michigan's Mackinac Center, which is a statewide group (headquartered about 6 blocks from my house in Midland, MI) behind rightwing pet projects--lawsuit caps, tax cuts for business, charter schools, and other items on the usual laundry list. As Chasing said above, it's the same ploy as the McDonald's coffee lawsuit--use ridicule and material out of context to build support for legal action reaching far beyond the original problem (to the extent that there is a problem).

Actually, my favorite pointless label is the one you see on the back of airline seats: Fasten Seat Belts While Seated. Has there been a plague of people trying to fasten their seat belts from some other position?
posted by palancik at 12:17 PM on January 8, 2005

I should have entered the contest. We have a TV remote control that says "Do Not Wash in Dishwasher."
posted by deborah at 4:16 PM on January 8, 2005

I saved a label from a medicine bottle that read, "Caution: To be taken with or without water." How could someone not heed that warning?
posted by WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot at 12:03 PM on January 9, 2005

Caution! may cause skin and eye irritation. May cause respiratory tract irritation. May cause digestive tract irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. For eye contact, flush with water for 15 minutes and get medical aid immediately. For skin contact, flush with water and get medical aid. If ingested, give 2-4 cupfuls of milk or water and get medical aid. If inhaled, remove to fresh air and get medical aid.
IMPORTANT! Do not use this product until Medical Safety Data Sheet has been read and understood.

the above label found on a container of sodium chloride (read: non-iodized table salt).

seriously, there needs to be fewer warnings. if you really need a label on the 7-up bottle telling you to point it away from your face while opening it, maybe the universe just doesn't want you to have two eyes.

having said that, i once found my brother-in-law washing dishes with a toilet brush. in an unrelated note, i will never eat anything he has helped prepare.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:59 AM on January 10, 2005

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