Thursday, July 31, 2008

Toy Safety Bill overwhelmingly passed by US House

The bill on Toy Safety passed in the US House by an overwhelming margin yesterday. The final vote was 424-1.

The bill would limit lead in products for children aged 12 and under to minute levels - making it the toughest lead standards in the world. The bill also bans children's products containing six different types of phthalates (a chemical used to soften plastics). The bill also requires third-party testing for many children's products before they are sold in the United States and gives a hefty raise in the budget for the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Check out this article in the New York Times (registration required). Ron Paul of Texas was the only Congressperson to vote against this bill.

The bill moves on the Senate, where, in the immortal words of 'Bill:'

"I'm just a bill
Yes, I'm only a bill
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill
Well, then I'm off to the White House
Where I'll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the president to sign
And if he signs me, then I'll be a law.
How I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill."

My take: As I've stated since this became an issue, we need a Federal law that legislates what can and cannot be in a toy. Passing state laws seem to be silly, in that each state will inevitably be different and it would make it near impossible for toy manufacturers to make toys that comply with each and every state's laws. It seems very likely that this will pass the Senate and that President Bush will sign it.

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