Tuesday, June 30, 2009

US CPSC not to enforce lead standards on bicycles

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 lowers allowable lead levels for all children products. The bicycle industry freaked when they realized there's no way they can sell bike tires, brakes and other components with legally required lead levels.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stay, which was announced in May, takes effect today. The CPSC will not apply this limit to certain parts of bicycles, jogger strollers, and bicycle trailers after the Bicycle Products Supplier Association (BPSA) submitted a petition with data suggesting that the components in children's bicycles and related products contain lead in amounts not greater than those permitted under the RoHS and ELV Directives.

According to the BPSA, attaining the required lead levels is technologically impossible or replacement materials are not available in the quantities required. I know several companies planned to just stop bike and accessory sales in the United States, so I'm sure they're all breathing a sigh of relief.

The bike industry is not completely off the hook -- the CPSC Stay expires in 2011. The industry is expected to have new manufacturing processes by then.

The BPSA incurred tens of thousands of dollars in legal and other expenses as they petitioned the Federal government to delay the lead requirement, forcing the BPSA to levy additional dues on their members.

Read complete details in The Federal Register publishing this rule. A public hearing was held March 11, 2009 at the CPSC to discuss this issue; watch the video here.


  1. Interesting. I agree that exposure to children is unlikely. But it seems like a good idea to get the lead out in any case. I don't really buy the argument that there's no good alternative.

  2. I will make sure that the kids don't lick the brakes until this is all sorted out. After that, I can't promise as much diligence.

  3. =v= I'll tell all the kids I know not to suck on bicycles. I hope this doesn't prompt their parents to banish me or something, though.

  4. If they keep making voluptuous looking bikes, some lead will go into my system I'm afraid. :)

  5. ...obviously it behooves parents to teach their children not to become "wheelsucks"...

    ...& charlie, re your comment: "But it seems like a good idea to get the lead out in any case"...lord knows i tell myself that on every ride...

    ...just sayin'...

  6. They need another warning sticker on the frame.

    "Get the lead out" har har :-)

    @Jym: "Hello little kids, don't suck on my bike." Yeah, that does come across a little weird.

  7. The biggest problem with this law is that the loose wording includes ALL bicycles with 24-inch wheels or smaller, including mountain bikes, recumbent road bikes, and BMX bikes. The problem with that is that many products in these categories are intended for use by adults and not children, yet the law regulates them as if they were children's toys.

    Most of you probably don't ride BMX bikes, but imagine if the price of your car went up because CPSC requires the testing of all of its parts for lead in order to protect children.