Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act

The following press release was posted last week concerning the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act, which has been passed by both houses of Congress and is now sitting on President Bush's desk awaiting his signiture to put it into law. The chemical industry lobbyests put great pressure on members of Congress to not pass this legislation, but reason won out. If you are interested, you can call the President's office at 202-456-1414 to urge him to sign this bill. It is a huge step in protecting all of us, but particularly children.

July 31, 2008
Reid: Senate Sending President A Product Safety Bill To Protect American Consumers
Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the conference report to accompany H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act:
“We are sending the President a strong bill that says his Administration’s lax regulation standards on children’s safety are unacceptable. This bill gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission the resources, authority and oversight it needs to protect our children from lead, dangerous toys and other unsafe products. For years now, the CPSC’s budget and staff had been slashed while 28,200 Americans die and 33.6 million are injured each year. I hope the President agrees that this is unacceptable and quickly signs this good bill into law.”
CPSC Reform Act Expands Funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The bill authorizes a significant increase in funding levels for the CPSC. The bill adds more than $56 million over current levels for 5 years beginning in 2010. As part of the authorization, $25 million was directed toward establishing a public database of injuries, illness, death or risk related to consumer products.
CPSC Reform Act Bans Lead in All Children’s Products. The bill bans lead for products manufactured for children age 12 or younger.
CPSC Reform Act Requires Mandatory Toy Testing. The bill requires mandatory third party safety certification of products made for children 12 and under. Company labs would only be allowed to test products if they are certified by the CPSC, provide equal or greater consumer protection than available third party labs and are appropriately "firewalled" from other operations of the company.
CPSC Reform Act Sets Mandatory Toy Standards. The bill makes mandatory current toy safety standards promulgated by an independent standard-setting organization.
CPSC Reform Act Makes All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety Standard Mandatory. The bill requires the CPSC to adopt the voluntary ATV safety standard as a mandatory standard. The CPSC would also be required to consider strengthening additional ATV safety standards
CPSC Reform Act Establishes a Database of All Reports of Injuries, Illness, Death or Risk Related to Consumer Products. The bill requires the CPSC to establish a searchable database to include any reports of injuries, illness, death or risk related to consumer products submitted by consumers, local, state or federal government agencies, child care providers, physicians, hospitals, coroners, first responders, and the media within two years. Upon receiving a complaint, the CPSC will have 5 days to submit the complaint to the manufacturer. The manufacturer then has 10 days to respond. The complaint and manufacturers response would then be posted on the database. The CPSC would have the authority to remove or correct a complaint if it is found to be inaccurate.
CPSC Reform Act Sets a Temporary Quorum of 2 Members in Order to Allow the Commission to Conduct Business. The CPSC currently is without a quorum and cannot conduct business that requires Commission action such as a mandatory recall. The bill allows a 2-member quorum to conduct official business for a one-year period and restores the Commission to five members instead of three members to prevent future absences of a quorum.
CPSC Reform Act Streamlines the CPSC Rulemaking Process. The bill streamlines the product safety rulemaking process so that the CPSC can act more quickly in the event of a problem.

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