Thursday, January 08, 2009

Maybe Congress Has Had Too Much Lead Exposure

Perhaps you've heard of the new law that has gotten a lot of press today.

In an attempt to protect children from lead exposure (thanks to all those toys from China with copious amounts of lead in them), a law was passed in August, 2008 that will require all children's products (toys, books, clothes, electronics, you name it) to be tested for lead content or be scrapped, beginning February 10. Items testing over a limit cannot be sold, even if they were produced before this law was drafted.

It sounds like a fine idea to protect our children from lead, doesn't it. But guess who will be able to afford the testing of these products, and who won't. Mega corporations can test one of their little products and sell their other hundreds of thousands of them. The mom corporation, selling books or fabric toys to help manage to stay home with her kids, will not be able to do so. Lots of small or medium sized companies are staring bankruptcy in the face.

Read all about it:

U. S. Consumer Protection Agency Statement
World Net Daily news story
Hearings on the implementation of this law have been "postponed"

By the way, I have to add that only one (1) member of the House of Representatives voted against this bill. Who was it? Of course, Ron Paul.

Updated:
Click here for the latest developments to help put sanity back into this picture.

2 comments:

Mauston said...

Marie:

Please note that given the amount of vehicle exhaust, the lead levels in the soil between the sidewalk and curb at 2146 East Washington Avenue were likely well beyond anything resembling safe prior to the Federal Government mandating that lead be taken out of gasoline. This mandate occurred about he same time as you were growing up playing in that dirt.

At that time should the small Sinclair gas station at the corner of 1st and East Wash have been exempt from meeting the federal mandate because they were a family run business?

Public safety over profit
(regardless of firm size...)

Marie said...

Big Brother really is watching me!! (And mine is named Mo.)

Ideology clouds common sense here. Consider a few facts: Toxicity from lead happens through ingesting it. Children do not generally check labels to see if products are geared for 12 and under before they put them into their mouths.

If public safety (and not government control and corporate consolidation) is the primary desire, then ALL products that ever come in contact with human children should be lead free. Testing is most efficiently done at the level of manufacturing raw materials, not assembling them. And why should 100 companies using the same goods all be required to test if the cost could be divided up between them by one test at the manufacturing level?

As it stands, products that are perfectly safe cannot be sold. It isn't ultimately about lead safety, it is about whether a product has met regulation.

And where are all these "unsafe" products to be dumped? (Perhaps some unregulated country where profit can still be made? Who is kidding whom about corporate willingness to comply "for safety's sake"?)

If paint chips and dust are the primary cause of concern (per the CDC) for child lead ingestion, perhaps the government should mandate all over-the-limit or non-tested housing to be torn down.

And for your edification, the only dirt I played in was between the garages, far away from the road!