New Legislation Would Remove Lead and Phthalates from Toys

Healthy Child Healthy World announced recently that the Safe Toy bill banning six phthalates and requiring lead-testing has passed in the Senate!

The final tally: the House voted 424 to 1 and the Senate voted 89 to 3 to pass this historic piece of legislation. Not only does it set a precedent to act with precaution about chemicals children are exposed to in toys, this sweeping overhaul of the Consumer Product Safety Commission also:

Industry lobbied hard against it (mostly Goliaths like Exxon and the American Chemistry Council), but the voice of the people was louder. Thanks to everyone who has been working so hard on this, from our federal champions in office, to the alliance of nonprofits across the nation. And, thanks to you and all the parents and people who called and emailed and simply made yourselves heard! Today is a day to celebrate!

  • Virtually eliminates lead from products for children 12 and under (the toughest standards in the world);
  • Doubles the agencies budget by 2014 and gives it more authority to oversee testing and enforce penalties on companies that violate safety compliance;
  • Requires pre-market testing from unbiased laboratories to ensure compliance;
  • Provides whistle-blower protection to staff who report potential hazards; and
  • Requires the CPSC to set up a user-friendly database where government agencies, childcare providers, doctors, parents, or essentially anyone can report an injury, illness, death or risk related to products.

Industry lobbied hard against it (mostly Goliaths like Exxon and the American Chemistry Council), but the voice of the people was louder. Thanks to everyone who has been working so hard on this, from our federal champions in office, to the alliance of nonprofits across the nation. And, thanks to you and all the parents and people who called and emailed and simply made yourselves heard! Today is a day to celebrate!

The Washington Post article Senate Sends Sweeping Producty-Safety Bill on to Bush describes the legislation as historic and one that would change the government's approach to protecting consumers from reactive to preventive by dealing with hazards before goods reach the marketplace, including products manufactured overseas.

The article summarizes several more positive aspects:

  • The CPSC will receive a large boost in resources and authority nearly double to $136 million, from $80 million for this fiscal year (it has already begun hiring more inspectors for the nation's largest ports)
  • The CPSC will have the assistance of state attorneys general who will have the authority to help enforce federal product safety laws; they will be able to take manufacturers to court to keep dangerous products off the market
  • Consumers could eventually see labels certifying toys have been tested before being sold. When they buy a toy online or through a catalog, they would be able to see the same warning label that appears on packaging to warn parents of small parts or other potential hazards
  • Consumers would also be able to look up complaints or accident reports involving not only toys but lighters, electric saws, cribs and other goods in an online database
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