Concerns about certain children’s toys containing dangerous amounts of lead ultimately produced a federal law that effectively bans the sale of kids’ motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Here’s how we got to where we are today. Sources: U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection; AMA
A 4-year-old Minneapolis boy dies of lead poisoning after swallowing a charm given away with athletic shoes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends restricting or eliminating non-essential uses of lead in consumer products.
The U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection holds hearings on the safety of children’s products following numerous recalls of children’s toys due to unsafe lead levels. On Nov. 1, Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and others introduce H.R. 4040—the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act of 2007, which later becomes the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008.
Aug. 14, 2008 President George Bush signs H.R. 4040 into law effective Feb. 10, 2009. The law calls for a ban on the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than 600 parts per million of lead in any accessible part. Manufacturers and others must have their products tested at government-approved labs to certify they comply with the law.
March 17, 2009 U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) introduces H.R. 1587 to amend the CPSIA to exempt kids’ dirtbikes and ATVs. U.S. Sen. Jon Testor (D-Mont.) introduces S. 608 to exempt machines meant for kids 7 and older. March 19, 2009 In an act of deﬁance, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Malcolm Smith sells two 65cc motorcycles and a youth ATV at a rally he organizes at his dealership despite the ban. May 1, 2009 The CPSC delays enforcement of the CPSIA until May 1, 2011.
July 7, 2009 U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) attaches an amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act that would bar the CPSC from using funds to enforce the CPSIA as it relates to kids’ dirtbikes and ATVs. It’s later removed.
PROPOSED LAW NEEDS CLARIFICATION Ofﬁcials representing the motorcycle and ATV industry, and the AMA and ATVA, which represent riders, are optimistic now that lawmakers are considering the issue as the clock ticks down to May 2011. Some say the CPSEA and a committee report accompanying the measure should ﬁx the problems with the CPSIA. But others caution that the proposed law is still too ambiguous and believe the legislation’s language needs to be strengthened. Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, praises lawmakers for tackling the issue. But he argues that the CPSEA proposal needs to be further reﬁned to avoid future conﬂicts. “With the enormity of the economic hardship caused to families that recreate, and the industry, enthusiasts remain concerned that the current language of the CPSEA does not effectively address the issues that exist, and may create additional barriers to industry and true market relief,” Moreland said in written testimony. Speciﬁcally, Moreland believes there are
Path To Disaster
media companies and consultants. “The CPSIA has effectively banned the sale of age-appropriate youth ATVs and motorcycles because of the lead content of certain components,” Vitrano testiﬁed. “As a result of its broad reach, the Act has inadvertently crippled an industry unrelated to the toy manufacturers that were the intended target of the lead provision. “In addition, the resulting ban has resulted in unsafe situations for youth off-highway enthusiasts,” he said. That’s because with no small kids’ machines available, children who still want to ride risk climbing aboard full-sized machines that may be too big for them to safely handle. Vitrano noted that the CPSC recognized that risk to children, so it issued a stay of enforcement of lead-content limits until May 2011. But, he said, that hasn’t resulted in children being able to get appropriately sized machines. “Due to the risks of selling under the stay, many manufacturers and dealers are no longer selling youth-model off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and there is now a limited availability of these products for consumers,” Vitrano testiﬁed. “Half of the major ATV manufacturers are no longer selling youth models, despite the stay.” Vitrano argued that relief is needed because the lead content in metal parts of ATVs and motorcycles poses no risk to kids, and the CPSIA puts kids in more danger because it forces them to consider larger machines since only a limited number of youth-size machines are now available. Vitrano also noted that the CPSIA is unnecessarily hurting the economy and jobs. “(The) MIC estimates that a complete ban on youth-model vehicles would result in about $1 billion in lost economic value in the retail marketplace every year,” he said.
Dec. 2009 The CPSC delays the law’s lead-testing requirements until Feb. 10, 2011. Jan. 15, 2010 In a report to Congress, the CPSC says it can’t exempt kids’ dirtbikes and ATVs from the CPSIA unless the law is changed and asks for ﬂexibility.
March 2008 The Senate passes an amended version of H.R. 4040. The measure is later massaged by House and Senate conferees and then approved by Congress.
Feb. 5, 2009 The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) rejects a request by the National Association of Manufacturers’ CPSC Coalition to delay the law. Feb. 10, 2009 The CPSIA takes effect.
April 1, 2009 Chase Yentzer, then 6, says at a Washington, D.C., rally in support of overturning the ban on the sale of youth dirtbikes and ATVs: “I ride dirtbikes with my family. I race dirtbikes. Please give me my dirtbike back. I promise not to eat it.” April 3, 2009 AMA President Rob Dingman, AMA Government Relations head Ed Moreland, plus MX Sports and Cobra ofﬁcials meet with federal ofﬁcials and lawmakers to ask for relief. April 17, 2009 The CPSC rejects a request for an exclusion for kids’ machines.
Aug. 14, 2009 Under the CPSIA, the threshold of allowable lead in children’s toys drops to 300 parts per million. It will drop to 100 parts after Aug. 14, 2011.
April 29, 2010 The U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection holds a hearing on the proposed Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act (CPSEA) of 2010 meant to address the unintended consequences of the CPSIA. July 2010
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