And, here’s an email from a congressman – it’s definitely a step in the right direction! At least the ‘powers that be’ are thinking and listening to us.
Dear Mrs. *********:
Thank you for contacting my office regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.
In response to the recall of millions of Chinese-made toys made with hazardous levels of lead paint in 2007, Congress began consideration of a measure to improve safety standards for children’s toys. On March 6, 2008, the Senate passed the CPSIA by a vote of 79-13. On August 1, 2008, the Senate approved the conference report to accompany H.R.4040 by a vote of 89-3. I supported both measures. Consumer safety is vital at all levels, and this legislation can do a great deal to improve enforcement. It is important that the Commission is strengthened with an increased budget at a time when there has been a serious problem with unsafe foreign imports.
The CPSIA authorizes increased funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) so that the CPSC can effectively enforce our safety standards. It also limits the use of phthalates, which are plastic softeners used in toys and are believed to cause harm to reproductive development. Additional requirements include mandatory premarket testing for lead and other hazards by certified laboratories, the mandating of current voluntary standards for toy manufacturing, and a prohibition on the exporting or distribution of products that have been designated as imminent hazards to public health or safety.
In response to complaints from thrift stores and sellers of handmade toys that these new restrictions, to be enforceable on February 10, 2009, are unworkable and would drive them out of business, the CPSC has given preliminary approval to changes in the new lead-testing rules. Tentative exemptions have been granted for items with lead parts children cannot access, clothing toys, and other goods made of natural materials such as cotton and wood, and electronics that are impossible to make without lead.
I will continue to monitor your concerns with the implementation of this Act, and should this matter come before the Senate I will keep your thoughts in mind.
Again, thank you for taking the time to bring your views on this issue to my attention. The concerns of my constituents are of great importance to me. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office or visit my website at .: United States Senator Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania :: Home :..