Congressman Michael Turner

Representing the 10th District of Ohio

Turner Votes to Improve Toy Safety

Jan 4, 2008
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Toy Safety Mike Turner Consumer Products
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Turner Votes to Improve Toy Safety
By Congressman Michael Turner (OH-03)
January 4, 2008

All parents want the best for their children. Every precaution is taken to ensure their protection, security, and future wellbeing. As parents and relatives of small children prepared for the holidays, buying safe toys was a great concern.

According to recent news accounts, there have been a number of cases where children have been severely injured while playing with their toys. Many of these toys are made using unsafe equipment and substances. In some cases, the toys were made with small parts that pose a significant choking risk. Other toys were coated with lead-based paint that carries a serious health risk when consumed. Additionally, substances such as cadmium, arsenic, asbestos, and mercury have been found in recalled toys.

Parents have the right to know that their children’s toys and other consumer products are safe. Although there is a great deal that parents can do to prevent their children from being injured by an unsafe toy, our government also has responsibility for making sure these toys are safe. That is why my colleagues in Congress and I voted to strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Last month, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act (HR 4040). This was an important step toward making sure that toys are safe. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the agency responsible for ensuring that products are safe for American consumers. This important legislation increases funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission and expands its authority. The bill also bans the sale of children’s products that contain more than trace levels of lead, and requires third-party inspections and mandatory tracking labels for children’s products.

The legislation authorized $270 million for the agency over a three year period. The legislation also gives the CPSC mandatory recall authority. The bill also provides funding for an upgraded product testing facility. This will better equip the CPSC team to test a wider variety of products more effectively. These are important steps taken by the government to ensure that toys are safe.

There are also steps that parents can take when buying toys that will help ensure the safety of their children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has released a set of guidelines that parents can use to help protect their children from unsafe toys. These guidelines are available online at http://www.cpsc.gov/tips.html.

It has been estimated that three billion toys are sold each year in the United States. Because of this tremendous output, we have a responsibility to make certain these toys are safe for our children. I am committed to ensuring that our government agencies, including the CPSC, have the resources they need to ensure that toys are safe for our children. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this and similar initiatives that will restore the confidence of American families in the products they purchase.

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