Last Friday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to delay for a second time the requirement that children's products, including toys, be tested for lead content. 

Over a year ago, Congress passed the controversial Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) after a holiday season marred by scores of lead-tainted toy recalls. The act requires all toy manufacturers and importers to produce compliance certificates and submit to third-party testing to indicate that their products are safe and meet federal limits on lead. But in January, the CPSC voted to push back for a year the requirements for third-party toy testing and compliance certificates, following complaints from manufacturers and toy sellers that the rules were confusing and expensive.

Those rules were set to kick in last February, but they have now been delayed again. The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to delay the requirement until February 2011. Manufacturers and importers still must test their products to make sure they're safe and meet federal limits on lead, but the commission's most recent decision means they won't have to produce compliance certificates and perform third-party testing.  

Hopefully, this additional time will give small toy manufacturers and importers the chance to get up to speed on CPSIA regulations so that by February 2011, toys will no longer make it to the store shelf unless they can prove they meet lead requirements. But until then, it's buyer (or parents) beware.

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