WASHINGTON Feb 19 The top U.S. product safety
regulator on Tuesday urged manufacturers to remove lead from
children's products now and not wait for congressional action
that would essentially ban the toxic substance from toys.
"It just makes good sense to act now to remove lead from
these products," Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
Acting Chairman Nancy Nord told an international product safety
The U.S. Congress is debating legislation to revamp product
safety regulation after millions of Chinese-made children's
toys and products were recalled for excessive levels of lead.
The House of Representatives passed a bill unanimously in
December and a Senate floor vote is expected soon on a tougher
version of the proposed legislation. Both bills would boost
funding for the safety agency and would slash the allowable
lead content in toys.
Nord said lawmakers and manufacturers should not quibble
over setting a level of lead in parts per million that will be
"The time for testing tolerances is over," she said.
Her remarks echoed those she made on Monday in an address
at the annual American International Toy Fair expo in New York
that ends on Wednesday.
Toy manufacturers are already working to make sure products
with toxic levels of lead do not reach store shelves, a
spokesman for the industry said.
"We're taking every step to make sure this situation never
happens again," Toy Industry Association spokesman Peter Sandel
Most toys sold in the United States are made in China.
Multiple recalls of millions of toys made by Mattel Inc
MAT.N, RC2 Corp RCRC.O and other companies sparked
congressional hearings. The recalls included some of the most
popular branded toys such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Curious
George and SpongeBob SquarePants.
(Reporting by Karey Wutkowski, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)