On Feeling Safer (or how do you get cancer from a door hinge)

Last weekend, I gave myself a “honey-do” list item to solve a problem that was making me crazy.

In between our “formal” living space and our family room are two closets. One contains gift wrap, candles, out-of-season tchotchkes and the like. The other is a very narrow but deep closet that contains mostly toys and games that the kids play with. (Actually, they seldom play with them, and instead watch somebody called Stampy Longnose on their iPads, but that is another post.)

The kids do access this closet daily and I have already rigged up a motion sensing light inside the clost which remains on until no motion is detected for more than five minutes. The problem is the kids kept leaving the door open which a) impedes the hallway outside the closet, b) looks terrible, c) allows motion outside the closet to trip the motion sensor thereby illuminating the light, and d) makes me crazy to see a door open.

A few weeks ago, I had a brilliant flash of a solution – an autoclosing door hinge. I knew these existed, but I did not really know what might be involved in installing one. Fortunately, they are relatively cheap and only involve replacing one of the current hinges.

I went to Home Depot and found the hinge. Here is a photo:

You can see the cylinder in the middle a a bit larger than a regular hinge, but other than that it is normal looking.

What caught my eye however was the warning label.

You can see that according to the State of California I need to be concerned because, “this product contains chemicals known… to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

Seriously, I ask you what would I possibly have to do with this door hinge in order to get cancer from it? Breathe near it? For how long? Lick it? Eat it?

I have to believe that many of the things I could come up with to do with the hinge would cause physical problems much quicker than the development of cancer.

Think about the expense that went into this company having to change their packaging and print this label on this product. It is beyond absurd.

Thanks California! I feel so much safer.

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