Despite some concerns, President Bush on Thursday signed into law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. A White House spokesman was quoted as saying, “This bill will help to ensure that the products Americans find on their store shelves are safe, and that the regulating agencies have the resources they need to enforce law.” Useful summary here.
The Act will increase funding for CPSC over five years; add whistleblower protections for employees of manufacturers and sellers; require third-party testing of certain children’s products; adopt an interim toy safety rule and require CPSC to make new safety rules for toys; create a public database for consumer reports; ban six types of phthalates and lowers lead levels in certain products for children. Three of the phthalates would be temporarily banned pending further study. The American Chemistry Council said although there was no scientific basis for the phthalate restriction, they understood consumer concerns and were committed to working with the CPSC and others to conduct the studies.
One of the most controversial aspects empowers state attorneys general to enforce federal consumer rules.