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Congress Passes Reforms To CPSIA
Vol. 838 
August 2, 2011

In a near unanimous vote, Congress has passed a law that amends the much-criticized Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), providing greater clarity for testing procedures. Called the Enhancing CPSC Authority and Discretion Act of 2011 (ECADA), the new legislation narrows the CPSIA's lead-testing requirements to products manufactured since the date of enactment, creates certain exceptions for small-batch manufacturers and removes lead limits for used children's products.

"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 statement issued Monday by House officials. "The bill's changes aim to reduce the burden of the law while maintaining strong protections for children."

While the bill provides more authority to the CPSC in determining testing requirements, it does not change the action schedule regarding lead limits. As previously announced, the amount of lead allowable in children's products will drop from the current level of 300 parts per million (ppm) to 100 ppm on August 14. The mandate applies to all manufacturers, importers, retailers and distributors of children's products. "The Commission's decision on the statutorily mandated 100 ppm lead limit was an important step forward in achieving the goal to get the lead out of toys and other children's products," said Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the CPSC. "As a result of the Commission's decision, consumers can rest assured that lead should be virtually nonexistent in toys and other children's products."

While children's items must contain less than 100 ppm of lead as of August 14, there is still a stay of enforcement on the CPSIA's testing requirements until December 31 of this year. It's believed the CPSC was waiting on the passage of the ECADA before issuing specific testing rules. Passed late yesterday by the U.S. Senate, the ECADA now goes to President Obama for approval.

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