CPSC: Federal Nanny Gagged, Our Children Pay the Price

In the wake of numerous recalls encompassing millions of toys this year, parents and the mainstream media have been blaming China for lead paint and shoddy construction.

Greg at Daddytypes has a great commentary of where the blame begins: today’s White House.

His commentary is based on a New York Times article, Safety Agency Faces Scrutiny Amid Changes (read the all-in-one-page no-registration version).

In short, the Bush administration has “blocked enforcement actions, weakened industry oversight rules and promoted voluntary compliance over safety mandates. [...] The era of the ‘federal nanny,’ as a Republican commissioner described the agency during the Clinton years, was over.”

The CPSC “investigates only 10 percent to 15 percent of the reported injuries or deaths linked to consumer goods” and has only one full-time employee for toys. The article has a depressing photo of a cramped one room “lab,” with a toy impact test being conducted in the space between the employee’s desk and the door. The testing occurs, literally, in the space where the door opens.

The news article is a damming, infuriating, head-shaking, desk-pounding must read.

I visited two hardware stores yesterday to buy some lead paint testing kits. They were sold out.

To echo a former CPSC poison prevention expert quoted in the newspaper article: “Buyer beware — that is all I have to say.”

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