I appreciate you taking the time to share with me your views regarding the Consumer Product Safety Act. The views of my fellow Iowans are an essential component of my decision making process as a Member of Congress.
As you know, H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Act, became law on August 14, 2008. This legislation addresses the many product recalls of 2007 and attempts to improve the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Included in this legislation are provisions to ensure the safety of children’s products. Children’s products with more than 600 parts-per-million (ppm) total lead cannot be sold on or after February 10, 2009, and the limit will drop to 300 ppm on August 14, 2009.
These limits are particularly significant to thrift stores and consignment shops that must abide by these regulations but lack the ability to comprehensively test their inventory. While these resellers are exempt from testing and certifying the products they sell, they must act in good faith to prevent the sale of hazardous products, or face legal ramifications.
During these difficult financial times, consignment and thrift stores offer a vital service in providing needed goods at affordable prices. We need common sense solutions to make sure that these stores continue to operate successfully while at the same time ensuring that children’s products are safe. That is why exemptions are being made for “inherently low risk” items with entirely natural materials, and why stores are encourage to use “component testing”, wherein the larger manufacturer that provides resources would have already tested and certified the safety of the products.
In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently considering a number of rulemaking proposals intend to provide clarification for small businesses on the new lead requirements. I encourage you to visit the CPSC website at www.cpsc.gov/ to follow these proposals, and to diligently check with the CPSC resources to sell items deemed inherently low risk or that have been certified by the original manufacturer/provider through component testing. I have taken note of your concerns regarding inventory sales that may be lost due to this regulation. Please be assured I will continue to monitor this issue and work with my colleagues to achieve a fair balance between child safety and the needs of small businesses.
The 111th Congress will face many significant challenges, the most glaring of these being the revitalization and recovery of our national economy. During the 111th Congress, I will work with my colleagues and the Administration to enact a comprehensive recovery plan, one that I believe must include four essential components: infrastructure investment, alternative energy development and production, health care investment and reform, and expanding educational opportunity. As a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I will continue building upon the successes and job creation opportunities that I have brought to the 3rd District in order to provide the stimulus that our nation needs. I periodically provide electronic updates on issues I think my constituents might be interested in. If you would like to receive the E-newsletter, please sign up at my Web Site at http://boswell.house.gov. As always, please feel free to contact me or my office if ever you think we may be of assistance.