CPSC Cut Lead Limits for Children’s Toys by Two-Thirds

On August 14th the allowable lead level in children’s toys will be lowered from 300 parts per million (ppm) to 100 parts per million. That decision came in a 3-2 vote Wednesday, July 13 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The question now is what do retailers do with the inventory of children’s jewelry and toys that have too much lead paint after August 14th?

The CPSC says there is no safe level of lead. Back in 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act required the 100 ppm limit so the CPSC phased in the reduced levels beginning with 300 ppm in August 2009.

The commission’s two Republicans complained that the additional regulations will cost business and force some to close.

Lead and Children
Back in 2007, Barbie dolls made in China and Thomas the Tank Engine trains had to be recalled because of high levels of lead found in the paint, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The paper says we can expect some more recalls of products on store shelves now that the allowable lead level has been lowered.

Lead has been shown to cause permanent, irreversible brain damage in small children. According to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) fact sheet, any lead in the bloodstream can have an impact on children including a lowered IQ, attention deficit disorder, and increased aggression. The AAP says the additional cost to society could be more than $43 billion.

A third party requirement for lead testing will be put into place December 31, 2011.