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President Bush Signs Bill To Strengthen Product Safety Laws- Sporting Goods Industry Will Be Impacted In Several Areas

Date: 8/18/08

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- August 15, 2008 – President Bush has approved the “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.” This bill -- which was signed on Thursday, August 14 -- will clear the way for improved product safety. Included in the new measure is increased funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), bans on certain harmful chemicals in children’s products, broader enforcement powers for State Attorney Generals, higher fines for violations, third-party testing of products, and the creation of a national on-line database to report and track product safety concerns.

The legislation was drafted in response to the increase in product recalls in recent years, especially those involving toys and other children’s products. The CPSC will get a significant increase in funding -- receiving $626 million over five years. Phthalates in children’s toys will be banned beginning February 10, 2009 (180 days after enactment) and starting November 12, 2008 (90 days after enactment) manufacturers will be required to meet lower levels for lead in children’s products. Products will be required to undergo independent testing by CPSC accredited third parties.

State Attorney Generals can use state protocol when interpreting product safety laws and can bring suit outside the state. Maximum fines for violations will increase from $1.250 million to $15 million. By February 14, 2010 (18 months after enactment), the CPSC is required to create a publicly available on-line database to collect information on injury, illness and death due to the use of unsafe products.


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