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Lead Testing Law: Kid Friendly or Are You Kidding?

H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), was passed by Congress last year and requires retailers to test merchandise for lead. This pertains to any item for children 12 and under including toys, clothes and jewelry. It goes into effect on February 10, 2009 and while many parents champion the measure to keep kids safe, opponents are upset that it may put second hand, consignment and independent handmade retailers (which are popular in the current economy) out of business as testing products can be pricey. What's your opinion?


Christina-A Christina-A 8 years
What about garage sales? If they are included, the government is going to have to provide a huge landfill for all of our out grown clothing. LOL
ladygrace ladygrace 8 years
Poorly written law that will hurt consumers in the form of higher prices, home-based businesses, small businesses, and really do little to limit lead exposure. I'm disappointed that one of my favorite toy manufacturers, Selecta, has pulled out of the US Market because of how cost-prohibitive the testing is.
ladyr ladyr 8 years
Oh, the way lil worded it, I thought they were trying to make the retailers pay. That makes more sense, but it sounds like this law is poorly written regardless.
kindo1313 kindo1313 8 years
It is definitely a good thing to make sure all of the products sold for children are safe for our kids. The big problem with this law is that those small and home-based business who make products for children would be driven out of business. The requirement that every single SKU needs to be tested separately (like a size small shirt versus a medium--same exact product but need to be tested separately) is ridiculous. Plus, testing would need to be repeated with every single manufacturing run. That wouldn't be such a problem if the testing weren't so expensive (more than most of these businesses' yearly profits); therefore, it will be cost-prohibitive for these small businesses to do so and they will have to close their doors. Keep in mind that most of the wooden toys and organic products that we prefer to buy for our children in order to avoid dangerous plastics and lead contamination are made by these small businesses. It basically will result in even more of our toys coming from large-scale manufacturing plants in China. The intention of the legislation is a good one (and necessary), but legislators didn't think it through before passing it.
susu-g susu-g 8 years
SuzieQ3417- This law was written based on the lead paint issues on toys that happened last Christmas (2007). There are already laws about lead paint in homes. You have to disclose when selling a home if there is/ or is a chance that the paint has lead in it. The point of the law was to reduce the amount of lead allowed in products for children under 12 since they are more likely to put things in their mouths & possibly ingest something. Lead poisoning typically comes from ingesting lead.
susu-g susu-g 8 years
ladyr- The retailer does not have to pay for the testing. It is the manufacturer's job to test the product. So for example, Mattel has to test their products before Target, Wal-Mart or any other store can sell them. ---- I agree with the intent of the law. But I do not agree with how the law is written. It does not appear that how products are manufactured was considered before this law was written. It is a knee-jerk, band-aid reaction to what happened last Christmas. The way the law is written, each product has to be tested. So if you have 3 different products all out of the same materials & produced the same, you have to pay for testing on all 3 products. For example, if you have a tank, a short sleeve tee, and a long sleeve tee all out of the same fabric & materials with the only difference being in the sleeve length, you still have to test each of these. So the testing is repetitive and expensive. For many companies it is going to be cost prohibitive to test like this. The CPSC is accepting comments through 1/30 on the law so that they can figure out what needs to be corrected. I am glad that there is starting to be more reported on this. The retail price of goods will rise (some have predicted they will double) & the availability of specialty goods like for special needs children will dwindle if the law is not fixed so that it makes sense based on how products are manufactured.
SuzieQ3417 SuzieQ3417 8 years
Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't most of the dangerous lead exposure in childhood due to old houses and their chipping lead paint, not toys? It just seems like if you're going to attack the issue you should aim your rules more towards housing where you'll make a bigger impact.
ladyr ladyr 8 years
I don't think it should be the retailers responsibility to pay for the testing. The manufacturers are the ones who should pay for this. Retailers should demand proof of unbiased/independent/government approved testing for lead from the manufacturers to make sure that they are selling safe products that comply with the laws, but they shouldn't be the ones paying for it.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
NEWS from CPSC U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 8, 2009 Release #09-086 CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772 CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908 CPSC Clarifies Requirements of New Children's Product Safety Laws Taking Effect in February: Guidance Intended for Resellers of Children's Products, Thrift and Consignment Stores WASHINGTON, D.C. - In February 2009, new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) take effect. Manufacturers, importers and retailers are expected to comply with the new Congressionally-mandated laws. Beginning February 10, 2009, children's products cannot be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) total lead. Certain children's products manufactured on or after February 10, 2009 cannot be sold if they contain more that 0.1% of certain specific phthalates or if they fail to meet new mandatory standards for toys. Under the new law, children's products with more than 600 ppm total lead cannot lawfully be sold in the United States on or after February 10, 2009, even if they were manufactured before that date. The total lead limit drops to 300 ppm on August 14, 2009. The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children's products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children's products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards. The new safety law does not require resellers to test children's products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children's products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties. When the CPSIA was signed into law on August 14, 2008, it became unlawful to sell recalled products. All resellers should check the CPSC Web site ( for information on recalled products before taking into inventory or selling a product. The selling of recalled products also could carry civil and/or criminal penalties. The agency intends to focus its enforcement efforts on products of greatest risk and largest exposure. While CPSC expects every company to comply fully with the new laws resellers should pay special attention to certain product categories. Among these are recalled children's products, particularly cribs and play yards; children's products that may contain lead, such as children's jewelry and painted wooden or metal toys; flimsily made toys that are easily breakable into small parts; toys that lack the required age warnings; and dolls and stuffed toys that have buttons, eyes, noses or other small parts that are not securely fastened and could present a choking hazard for young children. The agency has underway a number of rulemaking proposals intended to provide guidance on the new lead limit requirements. Please visit the CPSC website at for more information. To see this release on CPSC's web site, please go to: ------------------------- Handmade toys would still have to comply with the new lead requirements, which I think is a good thing.
katedavis katedavis 8 years
I hope they reword it for handmade toymakers as well. There's a petition you can sign supporting handmade toys:
Greggie Greggie 8 years
They released an update today stating that it's unlikely to put resellers out of business. It's a poorly worded law all around, but they're trying to work it so consignment stores aren't put out.
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