Join Other Manufacturers In Seeking Deadline Change
The MIC is moving aggressively to convince the safety police in Washington that manufacturers and retailers need some real breathing room regarding the high visibility “lead content” rule as it applies to products made for kids.
We’re talking here about the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that became law last August. The law prohibits, for sale to children, products that contain excessive amounts of lead after Feb. 10, 2009.
There are two provisions in the law, one covering lead paint and the second covering lead content in the total product. The content provision is especially difficult because it applies to items such as steel frames, valve stems, batteries and cables, etc.
Last week, the MIC and its sister organization, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), wrote to the CPSC explaining that the agency should exempt certain materials from the law. “Because small amounts of lead are unavoidable,” wrote Paul Vitrano, executive vice president and general counsel of the SVIA, “the (member) companies will need relief from the CPSIA requirements in order to continue to sell these products on and after Feb. 10, 2009.” CPSIA refers to the law itself, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Two days later, on Jan. 28, the MIC formerly petitioned the CPSC to exclude battery terminals and “certain alloys” such as steel, copper and aluminum used in children’s motorized products.
The petition notes that the law provides for exceptions if the lead in the product will not be absorbed into the body under “normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse” of the product. That includes swallowing, breaking or other children’s activities.
The MIC asks that the exception be granted to an entire class of materials, basically ATVs and off-highway vehicles such as dirt bikes and snowmobiles. It also asks that the exception be granted before Feb. 10, 2009, next Tuesday.
That same day, the MIC joined with a host of other manufacturers and retail groups to request that the CPSC put a 185-day hold on the deadline for implementation of the rule limiting lead content in accessible parts and components of the children’s products covered by the law.
“It has become clear that compliance with these new lead content requirements will be a practical impossibility for thousands of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and resellers on Feb. 10, 2009,” writes the NAM CPSC Coalition in a letter to the CPSC.
Nearly 70 organizations, ranging from state and national retail associations to national manufacturing associations such as the MIC, signed the letter. Products produced by the companies range from footwear and bicycles to books and motorcycles to diapers and electronics.
Today, the MIC sent a sample ballot to the CPSC commissioners asking them to vote for the option of granting or denying the stay of at least 185 days. The commissioners’ votes are due by Feb. 9.
Also, today, the MIC and SVIA are asking members to contact the CPSC commissioners to urge them to grant the stay.
The request says, in part: “We also encourage powersports stakeholders to take the opportunity again to urge the Commissioners to grant the petitions for temporary exclusion for certain ATV and motorcycle components, parts and accessories, filed by MIC, SVIA and their member companies.”
You can express your support for the stay and the petitions for temporary exclusion for certain ATV and motorcycle components, parts and accessories by sending CPSC an email message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view other comments about the issue, click HERE (This will take you to the CPSC’s Web site.)
For more information, contact the MIC at 949.727.4211 X3045 and ask for Carole Iannello. JD
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