Want to know why kid's motorcycles and ATVs haven't been granted an exemption from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act? There's one reason: Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairperson Nancy Nord, a Republican Bush Appointee. >According to Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), one of the chief proponents of the bill, Congress never intended for CPSIA-- a knee-jerk law intended to stop the sale of lea...

Want to know why kid's motorcycles and ATVs haven't been granted an exemption from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act? There's one reason: Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairperson Nancy Nord, a Republican Bush Appointee.
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According to Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), one of the chief proponents of the bill, Congress never intended for CPSIA-- a knee-jerk law intended to stop the sale of lead-heavy toys from China -- to ban items like motorcycles, ATVs and handmade crafts from places like Etsy. Instead, it intended for the CPSC to grant common sense exclusions for items that clearly didn't carry a risk of ingestion. But the CPSC isn't granting those exclusions. Why? Because Nord has decided to interpret the bill's language in an extremely pedantic way, thereby forcing any changes to take place by having a further bill passed by Congress, an incredibly complicated and laborious process.

Nord is using the following to passages from the bill to justify her obtuseness:

"Absorption of any lead into the human body...."
"Nor have any other adverse impact on public health and safety"

It's the "anys" that are causing the problem. No matter the level of lead content (the bill elsewhere makes reference to 660ppm), a part that contains even faint traces of lead can potentially transfer it to the human body through direct contact. It doesn't matter if the amount of lead transferred is less than that absorbed by drinking a glass of clean tap water or taking a breath of air, Nord is interpreting "any" as literally that. Any. She'd ban air and water if she had the power. And sincee absorbing any lead can be considered to have an adverse impact on health, even if that impact is so minute it's scarcely quantifiable, Nord is refusing to budge.

This has exasperated the motorcycle industry and Congress alike, forcing the industry to lobby Congress for a new bill, a move Congress never intended and which is likely to be time consuming and problematic. The Motorcycle Industry Council estimates that the ban will cost the industry $1 billion in lost revenue during 2009.

Democrats in Congress are now calling for President Obama to replace Nord with someone who will interpret and enforce CPSIA in the common sense manner that they intended.

Want to do something about this? Click here to visit the MIC's site to make your voice heard.

CPSC via Dealer News