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CPSC Takes Step Forward In Effort to Protect Children From Hazardous Metal Jewelry

23rd January, 2007

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) unanimously approved (2-0) an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) that could lead to a ban of children's metal jewelry that has more than 0.06 percent of total lead. An ANPR is the first step in CPSC's three step rulemaking process.

"Lead is toxic to children and reducing lead poisoning in children is a priority for CPSC," said Acting Chairman Nancy Nord.

Lead can accumulate in the body. Lead poisoning in children is associated with behavioral and growth problems and learning disabilities.

Since 2004, CPSC has conducted more than a dozen recalls of children's metal jewelry due to the lead poisoning risk. These recalls involved more than 165 million units.

Products intended for children are banned under federal law (Federal Hazardous Substances Act) if they contain hazardous levels of accessible lead. To help manufacturers, distributors, importers and retailers keep children's metal jewelry with hazardous levels of lead off store shelves, CPSC announced an interim enforcement policy in February 2005, which involves a two-step testing process. That process uses total lead content as a screening tool but focuses on accessible lead levels. Current rulemaking could result in a simplified approach, eliminating the test for accessible lead.

CPSC will continue enforcing the interim metal jewelry testing policy while current rulemaking is pending. Parents are advised to check CPSC's Web site for previously announced recalls of metal jewelry. In addition, parents should not allow their children to mouth any metal jewelry.

CPSC has a long history of protecting children from lead hazards. In addition to this rulemaking on children's metal jewelry, CPSC banned lead in paint in the late 1970s. The agency spearheaded efforts to remove lead- containing vinyl mini-blinds from the market and banned the sale of metal- cored candle wicks containing lead in 2003.

The ANPR will be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks. Following publication, the public will have 60 days to provide comments to the Commission.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products -- such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals -- contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

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Related:  Cpsc - Consumer Product Safety Commission - Consumer - Product - Products - Child Safety - Safety - Recall - Recalls - Children - Baby - Infant - Child - Reports - Federal - Hazard - Hazardous

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