Saturday, February 20, 2010

CPSIA - Waxman's New Amendment - Needed Changes

Here is my full list of needed changes to the CPSIA:

Needed Changes to the CPSIA That Will Guarantee Safety and Promote U.S. Jobs:

1. Restore the CPSC’s authority to base its safety decisions, resource allocation and rules on risk assessment by giving the Commission the discretion to set age and product definition criteria for 300 ppm lead standard and phthalate ban. Eliminate the 100 ppm lead standard.

2. Definition of “Children’s Product” should not include anything primarily sold into or intended for use in schools or which is used primarily under the supervision of adults. Other explicit exceptions: apparel, shoes, pens, ATVs, bicycles, rhinestones, books and other print materials, brass, connectors, others? This would take these items outside the law, including tracking labels.

3. The standards/bans for lead and phthalates should be prospective from February 10, 2009, allowing the sale of merchandise manufactured in compliance with law prior to the implementation of the law.

4. Lead-in-substrate and phthalate testing should be a “reasonable testing program”, not mandated outside testing. Leave 300 ppm standard in place, but place burden on manufacturer and supply chain for compliance activities. Phthalate testing requirements should explicitly exempt inaccessible components, metals, minerals, hard plastics, natural fibers and wood.

5. Eliminate required future reductions in the lead-in-paint standard levels if technologically-feasible. Clarify that all inks are excluded from the lead-in-paint ban. Eliminate the definition of “technologically feasible”. Eliminate the “periodic review” provisions that require ratcheting up of requirements (e.g., periodic review of F963 to achieve “highest levels of safety” that are “feasible”). Eliminate the whisteblower provision.

6. Definition of “Children’s Product” should be limited to children 6 years or younger and should eliminate the difficult to apply “common recognition” factor of Section 3(a)(2)(c) of the CPSA. Definition of “Toy” (for phthalates purposes) should be limited to children 3 years old or younger and should explicitly refer only to products in the form used in play.

7. Restore ASTM F963 to voluntary standard status. Eliminate CPSC certification of laboratories (rely on the market to provide good resources).

8. Add penalties (up to and including felonies) for false or misleading accusations of violations of law or safety violations.

9. Rewrite penalty provision on resale of used product such that violations are only subject to penalty if intentional (actual knowledge or reckless endangerment) and if the violation led to an actual injury. Eliminate the “knowing” standard with its imputed knowledge of a reasonable man exercising due care. Completely reformulate penalties to restrict them to egregious conduct (including patterns of violations), reckless endangerment or conduct resulting in serious injury.

10. Restore the ability to export non-compliant product as long as the product is compliant with the destination jurisdiction's law.

11. Mandatory tracking labels should be explicitly restricted to cribs, bassinets, play pens, all long life “heirloom” products with a known history of injuring the most vulnerable children (babies). Tracking labels would be voluntary on all other children's products and if in use, can be used to trim scale of recalls (as with other data maintained by businesses).

12. Public injury/incident database restricted to recalls only. Private, confidential database permitted for other injuries.

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