Senator Durbin On Toy Safety: "It Might Just Be A Good Christmas For Books Or Movies"

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which recently held hearings about the state of toy safety in the U.S. What did Sen. Durbin take away from those hearings?

That the Consumer Product Safety Commission sucks, of course.

“It is clear we need a new commission,” said the Illinois Democrat.

Lawmakers are expected to move on legislation to boost funding and regulations at the Consumer Product Safety Commission in December.

Critics contend the commission has become too cozy with retailers and has a woefully inadequate staff to monitor the flood of imported toys.

Meanwhile, neither the politicians nor the public interest groups have any solid advice for adults trying to avoid lead or eradicate it from playpens.

This is not comforting, considering lead paint was banned in the U.S. in 1977 because high doses of it, or prolonged exposure to it, can cause brain damage, seizures and death.

“It might just be a good Christmas for books or movies,” Durbin said, searching for an answer for toy shoppers.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, said he just won’t buy anything made in China. That blanket standard removes more than 80 percent of toys from the shelves. Plus, some toys simply don’t have “made in” labels.

Imus said adults should certainly avoid toys at dollar stores, because they have been the subject of numerous lead-related recalls. He pointed out a small metal jewelry piece the interest group bought at such a store in Chicago. It was 65 percent lead by weight, 1,000 times the federal limit.

Time to buy your kid some video games, we suppose.

Parents’ predicament: So which toys are safe? [Daily Herald via US PIRG]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.