Screening toys for lead postponed

    Federal commission says it needs to work out exemptions

    A new federal law requires that all children’s products be screened for lead by next week. But the federal commission in charge gave companies an extra year to get it done.

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    After congress passed the poison screening requirement last year, companies and organizations began seeking exemptions. Among them, libraries, book publishers, and clothing manufacturers. Sandy Horrocks is spokesperson for the Free Library of Philadelphia.

    Horrocks: We are absolutely certain and have studies that show that books do not pose any of the health risks to children that the law intended to address.

    The swarm of appeals caused the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to postpone the deadline a year. Congressman Joe Sestak co-sponsored the bill. He agrees that many of these suppliers should be excluded, but that Commission’s blanket exemptions went too far.

    Sestak: They should work very quickly and hard to find which of these exemptions should not prevail for that period of time.

    Small businesses have expressed concern about the financial impact of screening. Sestak says that won’t be a valid exemption.

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