Lead Law Timeline

In 2006, a 4-year-old Minneapolis boy died after swallowing a charm that contained dangerous amounts of lead, prompting federal officials to investigate lead in children’s products. That resulted in a bill that effectively banned the sale of kids’ dirtbikes and ATVs. Here’s how we got to where we are today:

2007 Federal lawmakers hold hearings on the safety of children’s products following numerous lead-related recalls.

Aug. 14, 2008

President George Bush signs into law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, known as the lead law. Among other things, the law effectively bans the sale of any products for kids 12 and under containing trace amounts of lead, including dirtbikes and ATVs.

Feb. 10, 2009

The lead law takes effect.

March 19, 2009

In an act of civil disobedience, Motorcycle Hall of Famer Malcolm Smith sells three kid-size off-highway vehicles at a rally against the lead law at his dealership.

May 1, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) delays enforcement of the lead-content part of the CPSIA until May 1, 2011.

Aug. 14, 2009

Under the CPSIA, the threshold of allowable lead in kids’ toys drops from 600 parts per million to 300. The threshold is to drop to 100 parts per million after Aug. 14, 2011.

Dec. 2009

The CPSC delays the law’s lead-testing requirements until Feb. 10, 2011.

Jan. 15, 2010

The CPSC tells Congress it can’t exempt kids’ dirtbikes and ATVs from the CPSIA unless the law is changed to give the panel flexibility.

April 29, 2010

Federal lawmakers hold a hearing on the proposed Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 to amend the CPSIA. Other bills to change the lead law are also in the hopper. The bills all die.

Jan. 25, 2011

The CPSC delays the law’s lead-testing requirements until Nov. 27, 2011. Various bills are introduced in 2011 to amend the lead law.

April 2011

AMA Kids Just Want to Ride! Video Contest

May 26, 2011

The AMA organizes the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb in Washington, D.C., for riding families to lobby their federal lawmakers in support of Rep. Denny Rehberg’s (R - Mont.) H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act.

Aug. 1, 2011

Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), John Dingell (D-Mich.), Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) introduce H.R. 2715 to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the lead-content portion of the CPSIA.

Aug. 1, 2011

The House votes 421-2 to approve H.R. 2715. The Senate approves the bill by unanimous consent the same day.

Aug. 12, 2011

President Obama signs H.R. 2715 into law.
Sources: AMA; U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection; The White House