Missouri Legislator Organizes Email Flood


Website Generates 53,000 Emails to CPSC

MIC Delivers 4,400 Letters to Agency

Sen. Klobuchar Questions CPSC’s Lack of Action

Tom Self is the parent of two young motocross riders and he’s unhappy about the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that was signed by President Bush last August. The law bans the sale of ATVs and dirt bikes designed primarily for youths ages 12 and under as of Feb. 10, if the machines contain excessive amounts of lead.

Unfortunately, most youth machines are affected by the law because lead is used in batteries and many alloys such as copper, steel and aluminum contained in valve stems, engine components and vehicle frames.

The law also limits the use of formaldehyde in apparel and phthalates, a chemical used to add flexibility in many plastic products.

Unlike many other parents in a similar situation, Self is in a position to do something about his frustration. And he certainly has done just that. Self is a Republican state representative from a rural district in Missouri, a post he has held since he was elected to the House in 2002.

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, the day the ban on kid’s ATVs and dirt bikes became effective, Self launched his own grassroots effort on his website, www.tomself.com.  The site contains email templates that make it easy for visitors to send emails to Washington. You just punch in your name and address and hit the Submit button.

And off it goes to the commissioners of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and legislators who sit on the committee that oversees the CPSC.

Since the launch, visitors to the site have generated more than 53,000 emails to Washington. “I’m not doing anything any other motocross parent wouldn’t do if they had the resources I have,” Self told me in a phone call the other day.

The email letter notes that “under the CPSC’s interpretation of the CPSIA, engines, brakes, wheels, tires, and suspension parts on these vehicles must be tested and meet the lead standard due to remote concerns over lead exposure to children six years or older.

“While the law provides some exclusions for inaccessible components and also authorizes the CPSC to grant exemptions under certain conditions, to date the CPSC has not done so for products in the off-highway vehicle industry.

“This situation has resulted in HUGE inventories of products – which present no health risk to children – to be rendered retroactively illegal, and prohibits the future sale of these products because all available exemptions have yet to be clarified.”

Meanwhile, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) collected more than 4,400 letters at the industry’s annual Dealer Expo B2B convention in Indianapolis. The letters were hand delivered to the CPSC office Tuesday.

Here’s a Final Note: One of the leaders in developing the CPSIA bill is Sen. Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, my home state. She sits on the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Committee which overseas the operations of the CPSC. “Amy took the lead to pass the most significant consumer product safety legislation in a generation, keeping toxic products off our shores and out of our stores,” notes Klobuchar’s website.

I would like to talk with Sen. Klobuchar about this situation, but she hasn’t responded to my request for an interview.

However, she did tell the Minneapolis newspaper on Monday that the CPSC has the authority to grant exemptions for ATVs and dirt bikes, etc. “We have to be practical,” she told the newspaper. “That’s why these exceptions are in there. We always thought the (commission) would be responsive. I’m frustrated that they have not been.”

So are we, Sen. Klobuchar. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com.

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One Response to “Missouri Legislator Organizes Email Flood”

  1. lotus flower Says:

    Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre.

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