Washington, DC—Democratic Senators Mark Pryor and Amy Klobuchar held a press conference today with a pediatrician and parents of children who ingested dangerous toys to discuss Democrats’ efforts to reverse the Bush Administration’s lax consumer product safety standards.
“Accidents happen. But it is no accident when a manufacturer uses lead paint for a toy because it’s a cheaper material, or when a toxic product remains on the shelves despite multiple consumer complaints,” Pryor said. “My legislation prevents these dangerous toys and products from entering the marketplace, responds swiftly to remove them when they do and punishes bad actors who try to profit at our children’s expense.”
Said Klobuchar: “This legislation will help keep toxic toys off our shores and out of our stores. Parents must know that when they buy products for their children they have met the highest safety standards and will be safe. It’s simply unacceptable that we continue to see more and more toys recalled due to high lead content and safety flaws – we must act now.”
“I think that there needs to be a few changes made for toys and other children’s products that are sold in the United States,” said Shelby Esses, an Arkansas mother whose 20-month-old son ingested a toxic toy. “These products should be tested by independent labs to ensure that they do not contain lead and other harmful ingredients. If companies faced stiff penalties and fines, they might think twice about their safety practices. I know that there is always going to be an innocent mistake made now and again, but the amount of recalls that are happening is absolutely unacceptable. I appreciate the Senators’ efforts to pass a law to help families like ours have more confidence in the products we buy for our children.”
Said Kara Burkhart, an Oregon mother whose 4-year-old son also ingested a toxic toy: “No child should ever have to go through anything like my son Colton. He lived a summer of hell, years of pokes, prods and tests, and 4 ½ years later, still has an elevated lead level. I am very frustrated. The Consumer Product Safety Commission still has not been able to protect our children from these dangerous items, and I am angry that 4 ½ years later, there are no federal requirements that will prevent dangerous amounts of lead from getting in the hands or bodies of our children.”
“There is simply no reason to have a poison like lead in a child’s toy or crib,” said Dana Best, MD, MPH, FAAP, a pediatrician and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health. “The American Academy of Pediatrics supports S. 2263, the CPSC Reform Act, as an important step toward ensuring the safety of toys and children’s products. We need to get the lead out of our children’s toys and keep it out.”