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CPSC Delays Testing Deadline

Published February 1, 2009

BETHESDA, MD (BRAIN)—The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Friday pushed back the testing deadline for lead content in children’s products, spurring a collective sigh of relief from manufacturers in the bicycle and other industries.

The requirement for third-party testing and certification to verify children’s products are meeting a strict new lead limit was scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 10 as part of the Consumer Product Safety Information Act, but will now kick in one year from that date at the earliest.

Manufacturers are still required to meet the new lead limit of 600 parts per million, but won’t have to pay for costly third party testing, an expense that posed a threat to smaller companies.

Bob Burns, head of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association’s legislative committee and Trek’s legal counsel, praised the Commission’s decision.

“We view this move by the CPSC as a very positive sign,” Burns said. “They were handed a poorly-thought-out-knee-jerk-reaction law by Congress and they were given no additional funds to administer that law. The CPSC’s decision to delay the testing requirements shows that they are a practical federal agency that knows how to balance the need to protect consumers with the realities of the world.”

The Commission voted 2-0 to delay enforcement of the certification and testing requirements based on “substantial confusion” among manufacturers about the law.

“The Commission has received literally thousands of e-mail, telephone and written inquires as to how to comply, when to comply, what is required in support of the various certifications, what form the required certifications must take and who must issue them,” according an announcement written by Lowell F. Martin, an attorney for the Commission.

The BPSA filed a petition last week asking the Commission to exempt lead contained in steel, aluminum and copper alloys from the law because small bike parts like valve stems and spoke nipples made of those metals exceed the lead limit. That petition is pending.

For the latest on the CPSIA read the March 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.

—Nicole Formosa

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