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.