New legislation banning lead and (pending further study) six types of phthalates (chemicals suspected of causing heath problems) from children’s products has passed the Senate and now moves on to President Bush. In addition to banning lead and other chemicals, the bill will require independent testing of children’s products before they can enter the marketplace — a practice many consumers assumed was standard until they found out that Thomas the Tank Engine was covered in lead.
If the bill is signed, some voluntary safety standards will become mandatory, and companies who fail to report hazards or violate the new laws will face steep penalties of up to $15 million.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, currently toothless and underfunded, will see its budget double and its authority increase.
We’re happy to report that the bill enjoyed bipartisan support and passed overwhelmingly in both the House (424-1) and the Senate (89 to 3.)
Senate Sends Sweeping Product-Safety Bill On to Bush [Washington Post]
(Photo: Lee Jordan )