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Lead rules exempt second-hand shops

Posted February 9, 2009
Updated February 10, 2009

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— The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission decided Monday evening that tough new testing requirements for lead in toys will not apply to thrift stores.

Thrift-store owners had complained that the anti-lead law that takes effect Tuesday was overly broad and could put them out of business.

"It could get very expensive and either cause us to drastically raise our prices or go out of business,” said Patrick Fish, with the Kid to Kid store in Cary.

Congress overwhelmingly passed the new lead limit last summer as part of a bigger product safety law. It applies to products made for children 12 and under. Toys and other kids' products that contain certain chemicals, called phthalates, over 1,000 parts per million also would be banned.

Lead poisoning can cause irreversible learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Phthalates have been linked to reproductive defects and other health problems.


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  • mpheels Feb 10, 2009

    "Also the burden should be placed on the manufactures and not the retail stores."

    The only problem with this is that so much stuff is manufactured outside of the US. We can't force factories overseas to test for lead but we can force stores in the US to do so. Eventually retailers will pressure manufactures to do the testing and prove the products are safe before the sale. So manufacturers will eventually do the testing as a result of this legislation, it will just take some time. I agree though that the rule should apply to things made/sold as new from Feb 10 forward, which is essentially what the exception for thrift stores does.

  • computerguy923 Feb 10, 2009

    This law was very poorly written. It should have not been retroactive for one. It should have been for anything manufactured February 10th and going forward. Also the burden should be placed on the manufactures and not the retail stores. Resale stores, thrift stores, and consignment stores save people tons of money, why congress would do something to take this away from the average consumer is beyond me. Even with the new law it makes it criminal to resell certain items. What about the criminals that made the dangerous item in the first place? Why are they not included in this?

  • Outside the Beltline Feb 10, 2009

    Here's a published study chronicling lead's impact on cognitive development:


  • Outside the Beltline Feb 10, 2009

    Actually, it might be the lead. There are some studies linking areas with higher lead contamination to lower student performance, even when accounting for socioeconomic status, race, etc. Lead disproportionately affects children, so adults dealing with lead will not show many effects at first. It causes brain damage over time, much like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

  • aintbackingdwn Feb 10, 2009

    They have to use some excuse for our poorly performing children due to the failure of public education. It's the lead _pid

  • emaleth Feb 10, 2009

    The problem with this law is that as it was written, it included children's clothing (lead in clothing!?). That would put consignment stores out of business, as well as consignment sales. The clothing would have had to have been tested for lead, which is not cheap. I am glad that the CPSC took some action. There are many parents that depend on being able to get second-hand clothing to affordably clothe their children.

  • DeaconBlues Feb 10, 2009

    Lead has been used for years and years. Why all of a sudden is it now a problem?. I think the EPA really over exaggerates the amount of lead you have to be exposed to for it to do any damage. My grandfather was a plumber and he used lead for sealing cast iron pipe joints for years and years. He never got lead poising or suffered any ill effects because of it. I've gotten into the hobby of lead casting and cast my own bullets and fishing anchors. Been doing so for a few years now and I have no ill effects from it. I think this lead poising thing is just another scare tactic drawn up by the media nd the government. Been around all this time now, why all of a sudden is it a problem?