EUGENE, Ore. -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission has tentatively approved some exemptions to a new lead testing law, offering a reprieve to some artists who worried the law would put them out of business.
The exemptions include:
Toys, clothing and other goods made of natural materials like cotton and wood
Toys with lead parts a child cannot access
Electronics that are impossible to make without lead
The Consumer Safety Improvement Act, which goes into effect February 10 requires every item sold in stores -- regardless of the store's size or the size of the manufacturer -- to be tested for lead and pthalates by a third party. Manufacturers can provide stores a certificate proving the item meets federal standards. Stores can conduct those tests on their own.
Some Oregon artists have told KVAL News paying for the testing is prohibitively expensive and could put them out of business.
Roseburg resident Heather Robbins told KVAL she received a price quote of $3800 per batch. Her company, Earnest Efforts, makes wood rattles in batches of 100.
That's not what the law was intended to do, according to Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), who co-sponsored the bill. It is aimed at Chinese manufacturers who have produced toys tainted with lead, said DeFazio, who says the CPSC is interpreting the law to strictly.
The new exemptions would mean companies like Earnest Efforts could continue to operate. But they don't address second-hand clothing, which does need to be tested, according to CPSC spokesperson Julie Vallese.
However, the CPSC may release a clarification on that issue this week, said DeFazio.
"You would not, according to CPSC staff and subcommittee staff, you would not have any liablity unless you knew it was contaminated and you still sold it. And they would not require testing, which are the two main concerns," said DeFazio.
If the CPSC does not issue a statement to that effect, DeFazio added, he would follow up with them.
Vallese told KVAL News the CPSC would be issuing a press release with clarifications this week.