Monday, February 02, 2009

Your Government in Action

I feel heard.

Dear Mrs. Davis:

Thank you for contacting me about consumer product safety laws. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issue.

In response to countelss recalls of children's projucts, namely toys manufactured in China, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safetly Improvement Act (CPSIA) in October 2008. After many months of serious deliveration and extensive debate, the House and Sentate were able to make major reforms to the Consumer Product Safetly Commission (CPSC) and implement several new safety standaards. Among the most noteworthy improvements specifically for children's toys were mandatory reductions in lead content,, mandatory third party testing, and tracking labels to easily identify the origin of children's products. The new law also provides for a ban on phthalates in children's toys. Phthalates, which are chemicals used in plastics to make them more flexible, have been the subject of much debate given the possible developmental impacts they may have on young children.

I belive CPSIA will protect American children from hazardous imported toys. However, it apperas that some portions of the bill are causing significant confusion for thrift stores, consignment shops, and very small businesses. The new regulations imposed by this law are slated to take effect on February 10, 2009. I do not believe it was the intent of Congress to shut down family-owned, small businesses with the passage of this legislation and implementation of the new regulations. In response to concerns raised by my constituents, I have contacted the Senate Commerce Committee to determine what steps the CPSC or Congress can take to resolve these issues expeditiously while still protecting children from hazards.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Should you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to let me know or visit my website at

Richard Burr
United States Senator

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