Lead Testing can be Costly for Mom and Pop Toy Shops

USA Today:  “Nearly two years after the [Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act] was enacted, Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are still struggling to reduce its burden on small businesses while eliminating the risk of lead and phthalates in children’s products. . . . A coalition of small businesses and manufacturers, the Alliance for Children’s Product Safety, has been aggressively fighting the law, saying it is threatening the livelihoods of mom and pop shops like Hertzler’s and costing larger manufacturers billions in lost sales and compliance.”

Children’s Doll Maker Stops Making Dolls Because Cost to Test for Lead Would be $117,000

This story about the affect the toy police and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is from Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Anne Northup.  She says:

As a Kentuckian who knows how badly we need more jobs, it’s a shame to hear from a local hometown business who is genuinely trying to comply with the CPSIA, but finding that the costs are so great that they simply cannot afford the testing. Please read the letter I received below and if you have a similar story, email it to me at [email protected]

Commissioner Northup printed parts of the letter in which a small children’s doll maker explains that it stopped making a line of dolls because it could not afford to pay $117,000 to test the dolls’ component parts for lead content.  The CPSIA prohibits the sale of any products to children if the product contains more than a super microscopic amount  of lead.

Cadmium Police After Children’s Charm Bracelets

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers that they should immediately stop using children’s metal charm bracelets.  Hazard: The bracelets contain high levels of cadmium. Laboratory analysis determined that following a 24-hour incubation in simulated stomach acid, over 20,000 micrograms of cadmium were released from the snowman alone. Cadmium can be toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects. Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Toy Police Have an Unsupported Fear of Cadmium & Want to Ban it in Children’s Products

Recently the Associated Press ran a story about the metal content of a number of items of children’s jewelry made in China.  The AP tested some jewelry products and found that some of the items contained cadmium.  The article speculated that the manufacturers of these items substituted cadmium in place of lead because of the unrealistic minimum lead content requirement of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CSPIA).  The federal toy police, aka the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has been cracking down on companies that import and distribute or sell children’s products that do not meet the lead content testing requirements of the CSPIA.  Testing the lead content of every part of a children’s product is very expensive and impossible for many manufacturers of children’s products.  Many manufacturers cannot comply with the CSPIA and simply stop making children’s products.

Eight states are now considering banning excess levels of cadmium in children’s products.  These state are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York.  The only reason the states and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are considering regulating cadmium in children’s products is because of the January 2010 AP story.  From the beginning of recorded time up to the date of the AP story, the toy police haven’t cared the least about the level of cadmium in children’s products.  The reason nobody cared is because there are no scientific studies that have shown that “high levels” (what ever that is) of cadmium poses a danger to children who suck on products that contain cadmium.

Another Associated Press story called “N.J. Assembly bill tightens restrictions on toxic content in children’s jewelry,” makes the following unsupported allegation, “Cadmium is a known carcinogen, particularly when inhaled in a factory or other workplace.”  It then states, “The exact risks to adults aren’t clear because it typically takes long-term exposure to the metal to cause the diseases.”  The Handmade Toy Alliance CSPIA Blog says, “Cadmium, after all, is a naturally occurring element and is found in trace amounts in almost everything from carrots to carpet.”  See

John Stossel on the Toy Police & the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Yesterday John Stossel’s TV show on “Crony Capitalism” discussed the incredibly stupid Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)  with CPSC Commissioner Anne Northup.  She explained how every component of chidlren’s toys and clothing must now be tested for lead even though it is not possible for the children to ingest enough lead from any of the components to be harmful.  The big companies like Mattel and Hasbro love the law because they can afford to test everything while small manufacturers cannot  and therefore cannot produce toys or clothing.  The law that causing many companies to go out of business.    Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of used toys and children’s clothing have been destroyed because organizations like Good Will and the Salvation Army cannot afford to test the used toys and clothing given to them.

For a related story, see “Parents warned against use of cheap kids’ jewelry, which illustrates the law of unintended consequences of the CPSIA.  The Associated Press did a study and found that the Chinese are substituting the much more dangerous cadmium in place of lead in children’s jewelry.

Toy Police Prohibit Sale of Toy Truck

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the sale of a highly dangerous toy truck imported from China because it’s surface coating contains high levels of lead.  This recall involves “Super Rig Transport” toy truck with trailer and vehicles.  The truck and trailer are multi-colored, holding two vehicles and two action figures.  “Super Rigs Play Set” is labeled on the outside of the packaging. The box back has a bar code square with Item No. 67007, Made in China and Bar Code 6-98567-67007-3. The bottom of the trailer has an engraved code 45TNGO9.  Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

If you purchased one of these dangerous toys, please do not let your children eat any part of the truck even if it is first boiled in water.

Do Not Eat This Truck

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