U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), the ranking Republican on the Senate’s chief oversight committee, said today that she has begun an investigation into the effectiveness of federal safety standards for children’s toys and clothing.
“Recent recalls of toys with dangerous levels of lead paint and small magnets that can come loose and be swallowed suggest that not enough is being done to ensure the safety of these items before they reach store shelves and the hands of America’s children,” Senator Collins said.
“Staff of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will investigate whether the Consumer Product Safety Commission has adequate authority and resources to do an effective job of checking the safety of children’s toys and clothing, particularly those manufacture red overseas,” Senator Collins said. “We will examine whether new legislation is needed to protect children from hazardous toys and clothing,” she said.
Widely publicized safety recalls this summer have involved Chinese-made toy trains, dolls, and construction toys sold in the United States. Concerns have also been raised about chemical traces in Chinese-exported blankets and clothing such as bibs.
“We want to determine whether the federal government has established adequate safety standards that are applied consistently and effectively to these products, whether manufactured at home or abroad,” Senator Collins said. “Parents should be assured that safeguards are effective in preventing hazardous toys from reaching their children.”
Senator Collins said the investigation will entail research and interviews that could lead to tougher laws on standards or testing to make sure products do not endanger children.
Senate rules give the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee authority to study “the efficiency, economy, and effectiveness of all agencies and departments of the Government.”