Simpson's action will prevent an automatic drop to a 0.06 percent maximum lead level on December 31, 1974, as stipulated in the amendments to the Lead Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act. The 1973 amendments directed the CPSC Chairman to conduct appropriate research and to determine a "safe level" of lead for residential paint products.
Simpson stated in the report that absolute safety could only be achieved by banning all lead in paint. And he interpreted safe as a "level where we have a reasonable assurance, with expected exposures, of the absence of serious toxic effects."
Simpson's decision was based upon research designed to determine what level of paint causes or contributes to illness, particularly in young children prone to the pica syndrome -- eating non-food items, such as paint chips.
In making his determination, Simpson relied on the results of studies using juvenile baboons undertaken at the New York University Institute of Environmental Medicine and the Southwest Foundation for Research and Education, as well as other studies cited in the full report. These investigations indicated that there were no observable adverse biological affects at or below 0.5 percent lead level.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
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