House Votes 407-0 To Ban Lead In Toys And Increase CPSC's Funding

Today the House of Representatives unanimously approved H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Commission Modernization Act of 2007, that virtually eliminates lead from children’s toys (down to 100 parts per million by 2012) and increases the funding of the CPSC. A Senate committee approved its own version of an anti-lead/pro-CPSC bill in October, but it hasn’t reached a floor vote yet—so sometime (early?) next year a final bill should be hammered out to send to the White House. Unless, of course, the lead toy furor disappears after Christmas.

The House bill would:

  • Increase the CPSC’s budget by 30%, its largest increase in 30 years;
  • Require manufacturers to place tracking labels on products to improve recalls;
  • Provide funds to improve the CPSC’s testing facilities;
  • Require testing by independent labs approved by the CPSC;
  • Effectively ban lead in children’s products by reducing the allowable amount to 100 ppm 4 years after the law goes into effect;
  • Re-institute the CPSC’s full board of 5 commissioners (down to two right now); and
  • Raise fines on manufacturers from $1.25 million to $10 million.

CPSC frienemy Nancy Nord must be foaming at the mouth.

“House unanimously endorses toy safety crackdown” [Reuters]
“House Approves Product-Safety Overhaul” [Forbes]
(Photo from “Wild at Heart”)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Parting says:

    Hopefully it will help CHILDREN.

  2. bohemian says:

    Odds on Bush vetoing this too?

  3. SaveMeJeebus says:

    407-0? What are the odds of that? I’m with Bohemian on Bush’s veto too. The lead toys will follow us home for sure.

  4. jackhandey says:

    Great to hear they’re reducing lead content. Anyone know if they are going after phthalates as well? These plasticizers show up in a lot of products and aren’t exactly safe, either, but you don’t hear about them over the lead media frenzy.

  5. StevieD says:

    Thank God.

    Now let’s get the lead out of another consumer products. Anybody else ready to join the no-lead in dinnerware ban?

  6. mopar_man says:

    2012? Wow. I guess you wouldn’t want to rush an issue when it’s dealing with kids health.

  7. uclajason says:

    Good thing it was such an easy vote that way if Bush does veto we will definitely have the 2/3 vote needed to overturn.
    The real question is: Lead was not already illegal in children’s toys?
    At least this will give extra funding to the agency to be able to enforce the rules.

  8. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Consumerist earns my undying love for using that screenshot from Wild At Heart. Disturbing and Hilarious.

  9. ageshin says:

    The problem is whether any Bush appointee will really use what ever tools given them. They seem to me to be lacking in gumption where regulation is required.

  10. Jim says:

    I feel like this is half-uh…hearted.

    #1 – Increase the budget by 30%. Last year (for 2007), they requested $62,370,000. [] is 81,081,000.

    Meanwhile: The President’s Budget:
    Provides $439.3 billion for the Department of Defense’s base budget-a 7-percent increase over 2006 and a 48-percent increase over 2001-to maintain a high level of military readiness, develop and procure new weapon systems to ensure U.S. battlefield superiority, and support our servicemembers and their families;
    Requests $50 billion in 2007 bridge funding to support the military’s Global War on Terror efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq into 2007;
    Expands the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle force from 12 to 21 orbits, each supporting 3-4 aircraft, to increase sustained 24-hour surveillance capabilities;
    Increases substantially the size and capabilities of the Special Operations Command;
    Adds $173.3 million to continue developing and refining a New Triad of smaller nuclear forces, enhanced missile defenses, and improved command and control; and
    Provides an additional 2.2-percent increase in basic pay.

    439,300,000,000 + 50,000,000,000 + ? (Predator) + ? (Special Operations Command) + 173,000,000 = 489,473,000,000 + 2 ?’s. CPSC’s budget is .016564958639189495641230466236136% of what the Department of Defense spends on the War on Tarrah.

    #2 – Companies already track products.

    #3 – If the local news station can go to Wal-Mart to test items, or if a local angry mom can get the local news station to come with her to Wal-Mart to test items, I hope the CPSC can go to a specialized facility to test items.

    #4 – Let’s say you fail, miserably, and very publicly, at your job. Will your boss appoint you to find an adequate replacement?

    #5 – [] From 6 (nearer to 7) years ago.

    #6 – A double edged sword. 2 cannot do the job of 5. But how/why did we get rid of 3 anyway?

    #7 – Duh. I’m tired of math. You go see what percent of profits 1.25 million, or even 10 million, is for Mattel, Fisher-Price, Playskool, or Wal-Mart.

    This is 10 years late and far short of what it should be.

  11. Jim says:

    #1 should read that a 30% increase is $81,081,000.

  12. RisenPhoenix says:


    Agreed. I mean – you just can’t rush these things.

  13. RvLeshrac says:

    “Virtually eliminates”

    The only lead in toys should be trace environmental amounts of lead.

  14. JayDeEm says:

    Did anyone else here have one of those Daisy Air Rifles that shot the lead pellets? You know, the ones that had to be loaded one by one, by hand, and always left a nice grayish residue on your fingers?

  15. MelL says:

    @JayDeEm: My air rifle could fire either BBs or lead pellets. And I do remember the gray stuff on my fingers and thinking it was odd I got to play with it.

  16. homerjay says:

    Way to go, Congress. First you take the lead out of my gasoline, now you take the lead out of my toys. What’s next, my pencils????

  17. Crymson_77 says:

    @SaveMeJeebus: Good thing is, with this kind of support…he can veto all he wants and it will still make it into law with a 2/3rds vote.
    @homerjay: You’re funny homer! They haven’t used lead in pencils in 20 years. It’s all graphite now…

  18. karlrove says:

    Government, stay out of my life. If I want to slowly kill my children with lead, then that’s my biz-ness!

  19. savvy999 says:

    @JayDeEm: No Daisy here, but I did have a sweet hand-me-down Crossman air rifle, that with a pellet could finish off a bird from 50 yards.

    That grey residue was yummy.

  20. royal72 says:

    fucking pussies, not one of you whores voted for lead.

  21. burgundyyears says:

    Oh, yeah, Consumerist, she’s really foaming at the mouth: []

    I mean seriously, you guys don’t even have the CPSC RSS feed?

  22. IrisMR says:

    Less lead, more GHB!

  23. bunnymen says:

    Man, I haven’t seen Wild at Heart in forever.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again, more bleeding-heart legislation triggered by emotion rather than reason. This new law will basically outlaw absolutely everything designed for children under 12. It requires every component to be tested for lead content, even things like paper in children’s books. Kid’s clothes will be outlawed unless the manufacturer can spend millions on testing and certification. Libraries will be shut down, small manufacturers selling anything to kids will be bankrupted. How about a little research before killing a fly with a bazooka? Implement the ban on things that could possibly pose a risk, not just a broad stroke of banning everything until the manufacturer can prove it is safe. This is a Joke!!!