Two bills (Senate Bill No. 2120 and House Bill No. 1285) were introduced in March of 2010 by Senator Justice of the Tampa Bay area and Representative Thompson of Orlando. These bills seek to impose civil and criminal penalties for the sale of toys, jewelry and other products intended for children that contain excessive levels of cadmium.
These legislative efforts follow on the heels of a number of recalls of products that contained excessive cadmium levels, a known carcinogen, by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. As more and more products are imported into this country from China, all parents need to be alert and exercise caution. We work so hard to baby-proof our homes and do everything possible to shield our children from harm, so it is quite disconcerting to think that a cheap toy or piece of costume jewelry could place them at risk.
We all must ask ourselves whether the cost savings from purchasing cheap , foreign goods are really worth it, when foreign manufacturers, time and again, have shown a total lack of care about the safety of their products or a commitment to operating reputable businesses. Sadly, most of these manufacturers are able to currently operate with impunity, because it is very, very difficult to enforce our safety standards or hold a foreign manufacturer liable in our court system.
I applaud the efforts of our legislators to address this very serious problem. Even if we cannot police disreputable manufacturers beyond our borders, we can at least encourage retailers in Florida to ask tough questions before buying and selling these products. Which, ultimately, may protect all of us, and put these foreign manufacturers of defective goods out of business.