Washington, DC— U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today supported a bill that would protect consumers from unsafe products, ban lead from children’s products and provide resources to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The legislation passed the Senate with a bipartisan majority.
“I’m glad that bipartisan members of the Senate came together tonight to protect our nation’s children from unsafe products and provide resources to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” Johnson said. “Millions of parents and grandparents across the country want to know that the toys children are playing with are safe. As a grandfather, I couldn’t agree more.”
The legislation bans the direct use of lead in all children’s products, requires third party safety certification on children’s products that enter the United States, and makes it unlawful for retailers to sell a recalled product. An amendment was also included that bans CPSC employees and their lobbyists from accepting gifts and travel from the industry they regulate.
“At a time when the CPSC is facing an increased workload, it should have the resources necessary to protect our children,” continued Johnson.
Staffing at the CPSC has sharply decreased since the organization was created in 1973. When it was established more than three decades ago, it had 786 full-time employees overseeing the safety of an estimated 10,000 consumer product categories. Today, the staffing has shrunk to only 420 staff members, despite an increased workload of over an estimated 15,000 consumer product categories.
According to the CPSC, products under its jurisdiction are related to 33.6 million injuries and 28,200 deaths each year. The cost of these deaths, injuries, and other damages exceeds $800 billion annually.