ALEXANDRIA, VA – As the list of lead-tainted products continues to grow, and with hundreds of thousands of children’s toys recalled today alone, First Focus, a leading bipartisan children’s advocacy organization, has called for major changes to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and their policies and procedures.

“It is clear that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been ineffective in performing one of its most basic tasks – keeping our nation’s children safe,” said Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus. “Since this summer, twenty million imported toys have been recalled – some containing nearly 200 times the legal limit for lead. This is unacceptable. Despite this crisis, the Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to employ just one person to test the safety of toys for our children. That is unacceptable, and the burden should not be on parents to determine which toys are safe and which may lead to brain damage or a child’s death.”

On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee approved the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act of 2007 (S. 2045). Introduced by Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), the act would increase the CPSC’s funding levels, expand its authority, and strengthen consumer protection laws. The bill now awaits action by the full Senate. If enacted, the bill will make great strides in improving the effectiveness of the Commission.

In addition, the House of Representatives has approved several measures that improve consumer safety, including legislation which will mandate that a purchaser’s information be retained by makers of cribs, strollers, high chairs, and similar products for providing prompt notice of recalls (H.R.1699). In addition, legislation increasing safety standards for swimming pool drains has also been approved.

“This problem is not going to go away without immediate action,” Lesley added. “We cannot continue to sit on our hands while thousands of children remain at risk. The news of contaminated Halloween toys must be a serious wake-up call as we approach the holiday season. The major gift-giving holidays are less than two months away. Something must be done now.”