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Bill to Soften Lead Law Introduced

Published May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) introduced a bill this week to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that would ease the reach of a law limiting the amount of lead in children’s products, including bicycles.

The bill, called Enhancing CPSC Authority and Discretion Act of 2011, is up for discussion today in Committee. If ultimately passed, it would create an alternate lead limit for recreational products such as bikes and ATVs, and would permit the sale of used bikes that may not comply with the lead limits. It also gives the law’s enforcing body, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, greater authority and discretion over how to regulate the law based on risk.

Mack, chairman of the commerce, manufacturing and trade subcommittee, introduced the bill in the subcommittee earlier this month, calling it “an important first step in making the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act the kind of truly landmark legislation it was originally intended to be.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).

The CPSIA passed in August 2008 in response to a rash of toy recalls from Chinese manufacturers due to unsafe lead content. But the strict regulations threatened small businesses that could not afford expensive third-party testing required by the law, and the Commission has granted multiple stays of enforcement to delay the impact of the law.

Through its counsel, the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association has been integral in voicing concerns about the law’s potential adverse impacts to the industry including shrinkage of the children’s bike market.

—Nicole Formosa

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