Government lead regulations putting whole product lines out of business

How many kids put dirt bike parts in their mouths? From the AP:

HELENA, Mont. — A new national limit on lead in children's products — which has toy makers scrambling for new testing methods and retailers for storage space for inventory they're not sure they can sell — also is forcing motorcycle dealers to pull dirt bikes off showroom floors.

It became illegal Tuesday to sell off-road machines geared for children younger than 12 because parts in them contain lead at levels greater than 600 parts per million. Most motor vehicles have such parts.

"I think they took this law a little too far," said Margie Hicklin-Krsul, the owner of Redline Sports, a sports bike dealership in Butte. "I've never had anyone come in and say, 'My child keeps putting parts of his motorcycle into his mouth.' "

About 100,000 of the bikes — popular for trails, zipping around backyards and racing on motocross tracks — sold last year for $1,500 or more, according to industry estimates. The ban, not yet permanent, is a blow to motocross racers of any age who want a small bike and now won't be able to get new equipment or repair what they have.

Dealerships — where sales already were sputtering because of the recession — received notices over the last month that they must pull the bikes off showroom floors. Industry leaders say some 13,000 dealers are now stuck with $100 million worth of inventory that may end up worthless.

Congress tightened lead limits on children's products last summer after a series of discoveries of dangerous lead levels in toys, and the rules took partial effect last week when a judge nixed a 12-month reprieve while the Consumer Products Safety Commission finalizes them. . . . .

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Blogger Ride Fast said...

[.. Lead ban criminalizes motorcycles [...]

2/23/2009 12:39 PM  

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