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Thomas Russell

Children's products face stricter lead standard

Washington - Producers of children's products will need to meet a government mandated lead limit of 100 parts per million starting Aug. 14, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced.

The limit is part of a mandate in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act established by Congress. The CPSC began imposing limits of 600 parts per million in February 2009 and the level dropped to 300 parts per million in August of that year.
Officials originally proposed lowering the limit to 100 parts per million unless the CPSC determined it wasn't technologically feasible to meet that lower limit. After a lengthy review, the CPSC determined it was possible for manufacturers to meet the limit.
The standard is different from an existing standard that has been established for paint and finishes on childrens' products. That standard of 90 parts per million has been in effect since August 2009 and requires independent third-party testing.
The issue has arisen due to the dangers lead poses to young children. Lead exposure has been found to cause learning disabilities, impaired hearing, brain damage and even death.
While the new limit goes into effect Aug. 14, the CPSC will not enforce the third party testing requirement until Dec. 31.

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