American nanny-state beset by natural consequences of tyranny: oppressive regulation.

Effective ongoing since August 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, targeted chiefly at children’s products, imposes an expensive and strenuous a new testing and certification process on these goods. The legislation, intended to reduce the allowable amount of lead in surface coatings and paint from 600ppm to 90 ppm, is riddled with ambiguity and oppressive standards while increasing the punishment for non-conformance. In addition, the legislation is retroactive, affecting products all ready on the shelves and the time frame allowed for those products to become certified is unrealistic – there aren’t even enough labs in the country to retroactively test these products.

Perhaps the most oppressive part of this law is that manufacturers will be forced to test the end product. For example, a company that produces wooden toys in a single facility may only require a handful of components to produce a wide variety of products, and they would be required to repeatedly test (at the unit level) every product they produce, when in fact simply certifying the raw materials one time would save countless dollars.

The Bruce is constantly disappointed by people’s willingness to trade freedom for safety and while I understand the importance of lead free products, legislation like this hurts many small business owners who will be unable to sell their products because the price will literally skyrocket 1,000%. Now, The Bruce may not be too sharp when it comes to math, but that seems like an awful lot of zeros to me, and such loosely defined, heavily punishable regulation has no place in the republic. That’s not America, that not even Canada.

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