Even though the Bush Administration had expressed reservations concerning the consumer product safety reform legislation wending its way through Congress, last summer's massive toy recalls-from toy trains to toys alleged to contain a chemical that when swallowed broke down into the so-called "date rape drug"-proved to present too risky a backdrop to take an anti-regulatory stand.
In mid-August, with little fanfare, President Bush signed legislation that will overhaul the national product safety system, raising the budget for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and increasing regulatory mandates.
The new law increases the CPSC's funding from its current level of $80 million to $136 million by 2010; bans lead from children's products; and introduces a ban on plastics containing phthalates from children's toys and personal care products. The law authorizes the CPSC to pass new safety rules for toys, allows the CPSC to inspect manufacturer labs, and requires third-party testing of certain children's products. Read about prior CPSC toy recalls at kidadlaw.com: "‘Date Rape Drug' Linked to Massive Toy Recall", "Mattel Recalls More than 1 Million Toys Over Lead Paint Danger", "Popular Magnetized Building Toys Recalled", and "Thomas the Tank Toys Recalled Because of Lead Paint".