Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar yesterday announced the passage of a bill to make it easier for manufacturers and retailers of children's products to comply with heightened lead limits in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
In particular, the legislation included Klobuchar's provision to exempt youth-based off-road vehicles, such as ATVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles from the lead limits. The legislation also exempts book publishers and certain toy manufacturers from burdensome testing requirements. The bill passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives and will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. Klobuchar has been working to enact the measure since 2009.
"This legislation will help both ensure children's safety and spare countless businesses and individuals unnecessary cost and disruption," Klobuchar said. "After years of hard work, I am pleased that this common-sense solution will finally become law."
"On behalf of riders and manufacturers everywhere, I would like to thank Senator Klobuchar for her dedication and leadership in ensuring that youth powersports vehicles are available for our young riders to safely and responsibly enjoy with their families," Scott W. Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries, said. "This unfortunate situation went on far too long and I am glad that Congress has finally corrected the error for all Minnesotans."
"The Arctic Cat family would like to thank Senator Klobuchar and her team for their dedicated efforts in pushing through this legislative modification," Claude Jordan, president and CEO of Arctic Cat, said. "This will ensure that our youth customers have access to riding the right products. Additionally, the increased volumes resulting from this action will continue to support additional manufacturing jobs for Minnesota."
Youth off-road vehicles often contain trace amounts of lead in their engines, brakes, suspension systems, batteries and other mechanical parts, thereby falling under new lead limits that passed as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Many of the parts in these off-road vehicles cannot be easily made without some lead content, forcing off-road vehicle manufactures to stop making child-size products. This has created safety issues because children are now riding adult-size ATVs and the Consumer Product Safety Commission's own data show that 90 percent of ATV-related deaths and injuries to children occur on larger, faster adult-size models.
The legislation has been endorsed by the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and America Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and Klobuchar has been working with these groups to exempt off-road vehicles from lead regulations.
The legislation also removes lead limits for used children's products and provides a targeted exemption so the Consumer Product Safety Commission can establish higher lead limits for products such as bicycles that contain trace amounts of lead in component parts.