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Far-reaching effects of lead law go beyond the powersports industry

April 1, 2009
Filed under Features

Joining members of the powersports industry at Wednesday’s “Amend the CPSIA” rally held in Washington, D.C., was a number of other industries that have been equally hit by a new safety law.

Individuals from a host of U.S. retailing segments, including apparel, toys, books, handcrafts and bicycles, outlined the “unintended consequences” that have occurred as a result of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

Children’s author Carol Baicker-McKee discussed how books published before 1984 — many of which fill U.S. libraries and schools — are being affected since the safety act’s lead regulations ban them. These pre-1984 published books are often cheaper and thus easier for educational service providers to purchase and use.

Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association, said the safety act is causing huge economic ripples throughout that industry. He said toy companies have already suffered more than $1 billion in inventory damages and are facing an another billion in losses.

“We believe in the concept of the act and we believe in the purposes of the act,” he said at the rally. “But we believe (the safety act) was adopted in haste and overreached beyond that which is necessary.”

John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, said the costs associated with the safety act have been “mind boggling.”

“We believe the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) can’t fix this,” he said. “Congress has got to act.”

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