Wednesday, November 11, 2009

CPSIA - CPSIA Casualty of the Week for November 9

The Alliance for Children's Product Safety's "CPSIA Casualty of the Week" highlights how the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is disrupting the U.S. marketplace in order to draw attention to the problems faced by small businesses, public institutions, consumers and others trying to comply with senseless and often contradictory provisions of the law. These provisions do nothing to improve product safety, but are driving small businesses out of the market.

Congress and the CPSC need to address the problems with CPSIA implementation to help small businesses by restoring "common sense" to our nation's product safety laws.

CPSIA Casualty of the Week for November 9

♪ ♫ 76 Trombones Taken Away by the CPSC… ♪ ♫
CPSC Ruling: The Day the Music Died for Elementary School Brass Bands?

In an unfortunate but widely expected decision last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 3-2 to reject a petition to exempt brass from the new CPSIA-mandated lead standard.

While the petition was specifically submitted for brass bushings that hold a wheel onto the axle of a toy truck, the CPSC's vote will have widespread repercussions. In addition to brass zippers, grommets and other apparel and footwear components, victims of this decision include brass instruments, musical bells and certain strings used in a string instrument.

By in effect outlawing brass in children's products as defined by CPSIA (any product used primarily by a child 12 and under) the CPSC's actions call into question the future of school bands. Will young musicians in their school band's brass section now have to hum along with their peers, or switch to the recorder or a (plastic) kazoo?

The fact is that brass is routinely used in countless products used and touched by children daily, including door knobs, locker handles, and much, much more. There is no danger of lead poisoning from brass. CPSC staff wrote that they consider brass bushings safe and that the lead transmission from brass bushings is inconsequential and certainly not rising to the level of a hazardous substance. However, staff believed that that CPSIA offers no flexibility to the CPSC to assess risk.

Members of Congress who have refused to amend the CPSIA claimed that all would be well once new Commissioners were in place. These new Commissioners had another opportunity to vote for common sense. Unfortunately, two of the three new Commissioners believed CPSIA does not allow this - common sense has been thrown to the brass heap for now.

To see a webcast of the CPSC's public hearing on the brass exemption petition, click here.

To read the Wall Street Journal's stinging editorial about the brass decision, click here.

Do not accept the status quo! Tell Congress and the CPSC to restore "common sense" to our nation's product safety laws. Click here for instructions on how to contact the CPSC and your representatives in Congress.

For more information, please contact Caitlin Andrews at (202) 828-7637 or e-mail


Angelle said...

I have tried to keep up with the CPSIA as I am in the toy industry. Thanks you for your blog.

Except for some zealous purging in the beginning I still see books for children in my local libraries published before 1984, I still see resale shops selling kids products, I still see craft shows and yard sales galore with lots of kid stuff.

I do not think you will see elementary school music programs shut down based on this ruling. IMO I really do not think they are paying any attention.

Anonymous said...

This is really not the correct logic to address this issue. Lets take driving for instance. There are speed limit signs all over that you are supposed to follow. You can speed everyday because there are only so many police officers to enforce the law and lots of drivers so what are the chances of getting caught? It is fine to speed until you get caught and end up paying large fines or possibly going to jail. In my opinion I do not want to pay large fines OR go to jail! The CPSIA has the ability to penalize any of the violators of this law at any time. The fact that it may appear that they may not seem to be paying attention to it, does not change the fact that you can be severly fined and face imprisonment!

The time for change is now. Do not accept that you probably wont get caught, correct the law!

jennifer said...

With regard to Angelle's comments - I think that we still see this because most people don't know and quite frandly many don't care. Kids aren't being poisened by their books, zippers, snaps etc. so many people when they hear about the law just give you the big eye roll about the absurdity and another law gone bad.

In the most recent telecasts over the past two weeks on the cpsc site clearly show commissioners after one whole year arguing over language. They still cannot agree on what Congress intended.

The law doesn't work so FIX IT. It is that easy. I have a couple reams of letters I have written to Congress. I would like to see Ms. Tenenbaum write one.