Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Sierra Club warned of toy toxins

    Posted on Tue, Aug. 21, 2007
    Sierra Club warned of toy toxins
    By Kevin G. Hall - McClatchy Newspapers

    WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration and China both have recently undermined efforts to tighten rules designed to ensure that lead paint isn't used in toys, bibs, jewelry and other children's products.

    Both have fought efforts to better police imported toys from China.

    Now both are under increased scrutiny after last week's massive toy recall by Mattel, the world's largest toymaker. The recalls of Chinese-made toys follow several other lead paint-related scares since June that have affected products featuring Sesame Street characters, Thomas the Train and Dora the Explorer.

    Lead paint is toxic when ingested by children and can cause brain damage or death. It's been mostly banned in the United States since the late 1970s but is still permitted in the coating of toys, providing it amounts to less than six parts per million.

    The Bush administration has hindered regulation on two fronts, consumer advocates say. It stalled efforts to press for greater inspections of imported children's products, and it altered the focus of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, moving it from aggressive protection of consumers to a more manufacturer-friendly approach.

    "The overall philosophy is regulations are bad and they are too large a cost for industry, and the market will take care of it," said Rick Melberth, director of regulatory policy at OMBWatch, a government watchdog group formed in 1983. "That's been the philosophy of the Bush administration."

    Today, more than 80 percent of U.S. toys are made in China and few of them get inspected.

    "We've been complaining about this issue, warning it is going to happen, and it is disappointing that it has happened," said Tom Neltner, a co-chairman of the Sierra Club's national toxics committee.

    The recent toy recalls -- along with the presence of lead in vinyl baby bibs and children's jewelry -- are prompting the Bush administration to take a closer look at the safety of toys and other imported products.

    President Bush has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to report in September on ways to better ensure safe imports.

    He also has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consider responses to lead paint threats to children.

    But as recently as December, the Sierra Club sued the Bush administration after the Environmental Protection Agency rebuffed a petition to require health and safety studies for companies that use lead in children's products.

    The EPA and Sierra Club settled out of court in April, with the administration agreeing to write a letter to the CPSC that expressed concern about insufficient quality control on products containing lead.

    The Sierra Club's interest in lead paint in children's products grew out of the largest-ever CPSC-conducted recall.

    That action on July 8, 2004, targeted 150 million pieces of Chinese-made children's jewelry sold in vending machines across the United States.

    Since 2003, the commission has conducted about 40 recalls of children's jewelry because of high levels of lead.

    In March 2006, a 4-year-old Minnesota boy died of lead poisoning after swallowing a metal charm that came with Reebok shoes.

    The charm was found to contain more than 90 percent lead.

    From 1994 until 2001, Ann Brown headed the CPSC under Presidents Clinton and Bush. She didn't push for an outright ban on lead in all children's products, partly because China's rise to export prowess hadn't yet unfolded.

    "Today, I would say there should be an outright ban in any lead in any toy product," she said in a telephone interview. "If I were at CPSC now, I'd say that trying to recall (tainted products) is like picking sand out of the beach -- it's just not possible."

    Before leaving her post, Brown unsuccessfully pushed for pre-market testing of children's products.

    The idea largely died when the Bush administration took over, said Brown, who's working with Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

    The CPSC has only 100 field inspectors to police problems with all products sold to more than 301 million Americans. None of the inspectors is stationed in China or anywhere else abroad.

    China remains very much under the microscope.

    It's fighting a CPSC proposal to bring the lead restrictions in children's jewelry to the same levels as those imposed on toys and furniture -- six parts per million, which effectively amounts to a ban.

    "We have done recall after recall since 2003. We would like to move toward a ban and make the marketplace safe," commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said. ... 85076.html
    I stay current on Americans for Legal Immigration PAC's fight to Secure Our Border and Send Illegals Home via E-mail Alerts (CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nicole's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New Hampshire
    These whole mess with China is unbelieveable. It breaks my heart that we don't make anything here anymore. Thanks a lot Free Trade/NAFTA and all you crooked politicians.

    I wish the Sierra Club would sue Bush for all the environmental damage that the illegals are doing at the border and all over the country. Oh that's right-they don't care about the environment- they just hate America and support anti-American policies-silly me

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts