Consumers Union Asks Nancy Nord, CPSC To Do A Better Job Explaining These New Toy Testing Rules

In this letter (PDF) sent to CPSC chair Nancy Nord, and released to the public, Consumers Union and a bunch of other consumer interest groups ask the CPSC to please do its part to clear up all the confusion over the coming Toy Testing Apocalypse. Don’t want to read the whole thing? Here’s a much shorter summary:

  • The CPSC has the power to explain how smaller retailers and manufacturers should follow the new rules when they go into effect, but so far it hasn’t;
  • The CPSC should publish hard data on the real cost of testing, to help reduce the amount of misinformation circulating online;
  • Consumers Union feels smaller manufacturers shouldn’t automatically be exempt based solely on size, since company size doesn’t guarantee a product will be safe.

As we mentioned before, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that Congress passed last year requires any product intended for use by kids to be tested before it can go to market, which has a lot of smaller businesses wondering if they’re going to be out of business in the coming months as the law is enacted.

The CPSC can do a lot more than it’s done so far to explain the law to businesses, but other than releasing “some preliminary information regarding exclusions to the lead standard” on December 24th, its been largely silent. Why? It might be a political maneuver on Nancy Nord’s part, which is what I suspect this final paragraph is hinting at:

Our children deserve the safest products possible. The bipartisan law approved by Congress in 2008 provides that safety. It would be tragic if your Commission, by failing to provide the appropriate guidance and exemptions, failed to effectuate this important new law.

Or, everyone at the CPSC might just be slow to react due to lead poisoning from too many tainted charm bracelets or something.

“CPSIA Clarification Letter” [Consumers Union]
(Photo: Intangible Arts)

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