"The Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act" (HR 4040) passed the House yesterday and was forwarded to the Senate. The bill was largely prompted by Chinese toy recalls this past fall. In addition to toughening safety standards for toys, the bill increases funding for CPSC to $100 million by FY2001 ad provides an additional $20 million to upgrade CPSC’s product liability testing laboratory. A Senate committee approved its own CPSC bill in October — "The CPSC Reform Act of 2007" — but it has not reached a floor vote yet. The Senate version would more than double the CSPC’s budget from $62.7 million to $141.7 million by 2015.
Representatives of CPSC have previously indicated that current under-staffing and underfunding may hinder its future ability to conduct post-marketing evaluations of potentially problematic consumer products containing nanoscale materials. At the same time, CPSC maintains the existing laws and regulations at its disposal are sufficient to manage any potential nano-related EHS risks posed by consumer products employing nanoscale materials. Let’s hope any increased funding for CPSC slowly but surely makes it way down to nanotechnology issues in 2008 and beyond.