For over 30 years, one of the most popular adult recreational activities has also been one of the most dangerous. Lawn darts, or "jarts", were one of the best selling outdoor recreational activities since the inception in the late 1950's (rb jarts). All of that changed when on December 19, 1988, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, all lawn darts were banned from sale and manufacturing in the United States.
The jart was a scaled up version of the typical pub dart. It was about 13 inches long and weighed about half a pound. Similar to a pub dart, the jart had three plastic fins protruding from the base, aluminum or plastic shaft, and a plastic or metal nose in the shape of a point. As a result of the design and weight distribution, the jart had the tendency to land nose-first when lobbed into the air. A set of jarts included four jarts and two targets (rb jarts). The rules for jarts were simple. A jart was to be grasped by the nose and lobbed underhand so as to form an arch, and then land upright in a circular plastic ring. The ring was to be placed anywhere from 15 to 35 feet away from the opposing player, depending on such circumstances as age, skill level, and availability of land. Because of the design of a jart, the potential for injury was great. Even though the jart was manufactured and sold beginning in the late 1950's, the first reported injury was in 1967. The first official notice from the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, concerning the jart was a letter from the Buffalo, New York district dated October 20, 1970. The letter revealed that a number of injuries related to jarts had come to the agency's notice. The letter also asked that a labeling "be revised to clearly caution purchasers and users that this game should not be used by children unless supervised by adults" (rb jart). In November 1970, despite the cooperation of the jart manufacturers, the FDA mulled over a proposal of a regulation that would classify jarts...
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