Rick has blogged several times about the new Illinois lead law (see here, here and here) and predicted that the resulting labeling requirements would result in only confusion for consumers.
In one blog, Rick stated "Consumers will not ignore these labels and will treat your product as though it were poisonous or radioactive."
We are letting Rick pick our Lotto numbers next week.
A faithful reader of this blog brought to our attention this article from the Channel 9 News website in Denver, Colorado.
The article, "Confusing warning tags on toys spark concerns for parents," (Did Rick write that headline?) reported that consumers are shocked, SHOCKED, by a tag on a small toy in a Babies R Us store that read "Warning: Contains Lead. May be harmful if eaten or chewed. May generate dust containing lead."
The article goes on to quote the consumer who tipped off the station of the "dangerous" stuffed animal stating "We couldn't believe our eyes when we read the removable paper label . . . I can't imagine anyone buying this product."
Is the toy toxic? Nope.
The story goes on to report that a Toys R Us statement to the TV station explains that the products with these tags "meet or exceed federally mandated requirements for children's products." and says the tag "is related to more stringent laws passed in Illinois and California. The Illinois law, for instance, requires a warning label if a material exceeds a limit of 40 ppm, in essence the amount of lead found naturally in the environment." (emphasis added)
The company spokesperson said "it would be too difficult for the company to maintain a separate inventory for those states."
"To comply with Illinois law, these labels have been placed on the required items that are carried in our stores in all states," the Toys R Us statement read.
Don't worry readers, CPSC has a solution.
CPSC Spokesperson Scott Wolfson (who would be a wealthy man if he received $5 for every mention in this blog) says "even if a toy doesn't conform to California and Illinois' limits for lead, as long as a toy meets federal guidelines they are extremely safe. . . The agency is now considering adding new tags to all toys which meet federal standards, in hopes of relieving their fears."
That's right. The CPSC's solution to too many warning labels? More labels!
We found an Illinois license plate fitting for this situation:
Posted by the Staff of the Alliance for Children's Product Safety