Makers of Children’s Products Try to Loosen New Rules
February 25, 2011
© Laura Doss
Manufacturers of toys and other children’s products are attempting to ease new safety regulations they claim are unfair or too costly, reported the New York Times earlier this week.
Aided by a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, children’s product makers are aiming to scale back new regulations drafted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that would require third-party testing of the lead content and safety of children’s products. Manufacturers are also trying to thwart a new public database, operated by the CPSC and scheduled to go online in three weeks, that would allow the public to search for injury reports on products like strollers and cribs, instead of waiting for recalls to be announced officially.
At issue are questions like whether lead testing should be required of all products used by kids (currently required by law, including products like bicycles and books), instead of limiting testing to products where lead could be ingested by children, and whether relief should be provided to small toy manufacturers who have complained that the cost of third-party testing is burdensome—or whether third-party testing should be eliminated altogether.
Although the Democratic majority in the Senate is determined to block attempts to cut the budget for the database (as has already been attempted in an amendment to an appropriations bill in the House), representatives of consumer groups are concerned that the tougher standards they fought for and seemed to have won are being put in jeopardy by manufacturing groups like the Toy Industry Association and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
Parents, after hearing about seemingly endless recalls in recent years, do you support tighter rules regarding the safety of children’s products, or do you feel the government is going too far in its efforts to regulate the industry?