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House, Senate Pass Reform for Lead Limit Law

Published August 1, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill Monday to soften the Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA), a law that regulates the lead content in children’s products, including bicycles.

The Enhancing CPSC Authority and Discretion Act of 2011 passed the House with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 421 to 2. The Senate also passed the bill on Monday. It now goes to the president to be signed. The Act modifies the troubled CPSIA, whose strict regulatory and testing requirements burdened small businesses.

The new legislation cuts off retroactivity of the 100 parts per million lead limit scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 14 and any future limit. That would allow children's products that complied with the earlier 300 parts per million limit when they were manufactured to be sold.

It also removes lead limits for used children’s products and provides a function purpose exemption so the Consumer Product Safety Commission can establish higher lead limits for products or component parts that cannot meet the applicable limit if the lead content serves a purpose or is is deemed not practicable to remove, and exposure to the product or component will not cause a measurable increase in blood-lead levels.

Also, the third party testing requirement in the existing law would be modified to include testing exceptions for small batch manufacturers and would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to seek public comment on ways to reduce burden and cost.

“The bill approved by the House today makes great strides toward cleaning up the regulatory mess created by the CPSIA, giving the Consumer Product Safety Commission the flexibility it needs to regulate based on risk,” read a press release issued Monday by the House. “The bill’s changes aim to reduce the burden of the law while maintaining strong protections for children.”

A companion bill is pending in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

—Nicole Formosa
nformosa@bicycleretailer.com

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