Sen. Carper OK’s Senate Bill To Protect Kids From Unsafe Products

Final Senate Bill Increases Gov't Oversight & Inspections, Penalties for the Wrongdoers

WASHINGTON – Legislation to better protect American consumers and their children and to ensure the safety of toys and other products they bring into their homes drew the strong support of Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who late last night voted for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 4040), now headed to the president to sign into law.

“This bill gets dangerous toys off our store shelves, and punishes the bad actors who manufacture products with serious safety flaws,” Sen. Carper said. “Our legislation also gives the federal watchdog agency – the Consumer Products Safety Commission – the resources and the authority it badly needs to oversee the safety of millions of consumer products bought in the United States every day.”

The Senate approved an earlier version of this legislation last spring in response to repeated recalls of unsafe toys and consumer panic over Chinese imports flooding American stores.

The final legislation bans lead in toys and other children’s products and sets tough limits on lead paint levels; institutes whistleblower protections for manufacturers’ employees who report safety problems; makes it illegal to sell recalled products; requires mandatory independent testing of toys before they go to market; and discloses all consumer safety complaints in a public database. After years of underfunding, this legislation authorizes more than doubling the CSPC budget to $136 million in fiscal year 2014.

Other key elements of this legislation:

  • Require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue safety standards for nursery products such as cribs;
  • Enhance the commission’s authority to order recalls and other corrective actions; and
  • Improve information sharing among federal, state, local and foreign agencies;
  • Streamline the product safety rulemaking procedures and require safety certification of products;
  • Restore the Board of Commissioners from three to five members, increase commission staff to 500 employees by 2013, and increase the number of commission employees at the nation’s ports.