Fiona Ma for State Assembly

Ma Calls On Bush to Take Lead Out Of Toys


Last week, days after Mattel recalled 253,000 lead-contaminated toy cars, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) said the Bush administration is not doing enough to protect the health of children.

In front of the Children's Council of San Francisco, Ma called for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to take immediate steps to implement a ban of lead in all products intended to be used by children.

Ma, author of the toxic toys legislation AB 1108, vowed to take a strong arm approach if the Bush administration fails to act within 90 days.

"Toxic toys need to be removed from our store shelves immediately," said Ma. "It is time for policy makers to step up to the plate."

In a letter to the safety commission, Ma wrote that she will introduce a California ban of toys and other products containing lead intended to be used by children, if action is not taken to update regulations to remove all lead from these products.

"We now know that lead exposure, at any level, presents a clear and present danger to young children," Ma's letter reads. "While the CPSC attempted to deflect blame by noting that these toys were made in China, it is my view that lax national standards have resulted in children being put needlessly at risk, regardless of where products are made."

The letter highlights the need for immediate action, and points out that the commission could encounter gridlock because the president has failed to appoint commission members. A little over a year and a half ago, the commission chair resigned and a new chair has yet to be appointed.

"Children who are exposed to lead at any level are in harm's way," said Ma. "We can not let this become another issue where the Bush administration is asleep at the wheel."

Source: AsianWeek