U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message
Date: Mon, Apr 06, 2009 11:19 am
Dear Ms. Brandelius:
Thank you very much for your letter expressing concern about the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-314). I understand the challenges facing certain businesses and organizations that must comply with the law's requirements and welcome the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
As you know, on August 14, 2008, the President signed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 into law. This legislation will modernize and strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to enable the agency to aggressively pursue its mission of protecting consumers and families through the oversight of more than 15,000 products sold in the United States.
Included in this important bill are requirements intended to limit the exposure of children to lead and phthalates in children's products. Specifically, on February 10, 2009, 180 days after the bill's enactment, children's products containing more than 600 parts per million of lead were banned from production and sale. Within three years, products containing more than 100 parts per million will also be prohibited. The bill will also ban some phthalates from toys and childcare articles for children under the age of three. To help enforce these requirements, manufacturers will be required to have new children's products tested for these chemicals by a certified third-party.
I recognize that the compliance dates and certification requirements of this legislation may pose certain challenges to some businesses, organizations, and charities that are affected by the law. You may be interested to learn that the CPSC has announced that sellers of used children's products, such as thrift stores, will not be required to certify that their products meet the new standards. Additionally, retailers will not be required to test products that are already in their inventory. However, they will not be allowed to sell those that exceed the lead and phthalate limits.
The CPSC suggests that retailers should avoid selling products that are likely to have a high lead content, unless testing or other information would prove that their products are compliant. This guidance is intended to allow retailers to sell children's products already in their inventory that would clearly not violate the new limits. The CSPC continues to publish additional guidance to assist in this process. For more detailed information, please visit the CPSC website at www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html.
On February 4, 2009, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced legislation (S. 374) that would exempt secondhand sellers from the lead requirements and delay implementation of the increased limits and the testing requirement. I appreciate hearing your support for Senator DeMint's bill. However, I have serious concerns about the effects that such a delay could have on the safety of children's products.
Please know that I am following the CPSC's implementation of the standards closely. I appreciate your input regarding this issue and will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should the Senate take additional action regarding these matters.
Again, thank you for writing. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
United States Senator
Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ENewsletterSignup.Signup.