Senator slams companies on sports helmet claims

October 22, 2011 - 11:44 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee chairman says sports equipment companies are making "empty, unsubstantiated" claims if they promise that their products will help to prevent concussions.

That's what Sen. Jay Rockefeller says in remarks he planned for Wednesday afternoon's hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The West Virginia Democrat isn't naming any companies. But manufacturers such as Riddell have come under criticism for claiming their football helmets reduce concussions. One company, Brain-Pad, claims its mouth guard helps reduce the risk of concussions.

Senators are expected to hear from Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, who directs a Michigan clinic that diagnoses and treats athletes' concussions. He plans to say that no piece of equipment can significantly prevent concussions, and that companies making such claims give people a false sense of security.