The Consumer Product Safety Commission yesterday voted 2-0 to reject the NAM CPSC Coalition’s petition for a stay in the effective date of the lead content limits in Section 101 of the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The ballot and accompanying statements from Commissioners Nancy Nord and Thomas Moore are available here.[UPDATE: Gah, that’s bureaucratic. Let’s try again: The CPSC just rejected the manufacturers’ request to delay the effective date of new, lower lead content standards. We lost.]
Then today the CPSC voted 2-0 (ballot) to withdraw a proposed rule on the allowable lead content for electronic devices, issuing in its place an interim final rule — it goes into effect immediately — that specifies the exemptions. The ballot and interim final rule are available here.
The Commission also issued a draft statement on commission enforcement policy on Section 101 lead limits. The thrust of this statement is to announce that the commission staff does not plan to prosecute manufacturers or retailers involved in products that consistently fall below the lead limits – ordinary children’s books printed after 1985 and dyed or undyed textile used in children’s clothing and things like baby blankets.
But remember, the CPSIA gives state attorneys general enforcement authority, and goodness knows what class-action attorneys may be dreaming up.
The rejection of the Coalition’s petition and the issuing of draft rules and commentary lead us to conclude only Congress can fix this mess. And a fine mess it is.
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