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CPSC Solidifies Two-Year Lead Law Stay

Published July 1, 2009

BETHESDA, MD (BRAIN)—The Consumer Product Safety Commission cemented its decision this week to grant the bicycle industry a two-year stay of enforcement against a new lead limit law.

The Commission, which first announced its intention to grant a stay back in May, published its decision on Tuesday in the Federal Register. The stay of enforcement is effective until July 1, 2011.

The lead law is part of the Consumer Product Safety Information Act, which was enacted by Congress last August. It limits the amount of lead in children’s products, including bicycles, trailers and jogger strollers, to 600 parts per million, and gradual decreases to 100 parts per million by August, 2011.

The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association filed a petition with the Commission seeking an exclusion from the new lead limit because small parts like valve stems, spoke nipples and brake levers exceed the limit.

The petition included an exposure study showing that lead intakes from bike related components are well below that of lead intakes from food and water, and would not be harmful to children.

Commissioners denied that petition, but issued the stay. The Commission acknowledged that there are health concerns associated with lead, like lead poisoning and elevated blood lead levels, there may be greater risk of injury to children if the removal of lead from bike components results in defects or structural weakness.

Also, taking children’s bikes out off the market would force some parents to put their kids on ill-fitting adult bikes, posing a danger to their safety.

“The Commission recognizes that correctly sizing the bicycle to the rider is an important safety consideration and includes this recommendation in its bicycle safety messages. Children who cannot comfortably reach the pedals or who have to use the more complicated braking and gear shift mechanisms found on adult bicycles are at greater risk of injury than children riding properly sized and equipped bicycles,” the notice said.

The stay applies to bikes manufactured before Feb. 10, 2009, when the law initially went into effect through June 30, 2011.

For read the full Federal Register, click on the link above.

—Nicole Formosa

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