The United Steelworkers (USW) today noted the upcoming fifth anniversary of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), landmark legislation that helps protect America's children from lead exposure and other safety hazards.
"Known toxins have no place in children's toys," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard reflecting on the act's passage in August 2008. "Now, thanks to the regulatory oversight provided by the Consumer Product Act, our kids and grandkids are safer."
The USW was part of a broad coalition that rallied behind the CPSIA, which implements comprehensive safety standards on cribs, swings, bath seats, toys, and other products intended for children under the age of 12.
During their "Get the Lead Out" campaign, USW members lobbied lawmakers and participated in protests to draw attention to the flawed trade policies that allowed the importation of harmful products. USW members in more than 30 cities across North America also held lead screening sessions to test toys and educate families on potentially dangerous products.
Over the last five years, the CPSIA gradually reduced limits on lead so that today, products designed for children can now legally contain only a small fraction of what they could in 2008.
Certain products, like cribs, now also require third party testing before they go on the market. Other products, including toys, are subject to new mandatory safety standards.