"The amount of lead allowed in toys and other children's products sold in the U.S. will soon be reduced to one of the lowest limits in the world. The move was praised by consumer advocates but denounced by critics worried about job losses and shuttered businesses.
In a 3-2 vote split along party lines, the Consumer Product Safety Commission cleared the way Wednesday for the limit to be lowered next month so that most products intended for children 12 and under will move from being about 99.97 percent lead free to 99.99 percent lead free.
Proponents say there's no known safe level of lead, which can cause irreversible brain damage, learning disabilities and other problems such as aggressive behavior.
Congress had asked the commission to decide whether there was some technological reason the limit couldn't be lowered. Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum, a Democrat, said there was "abundant evidence that it is technologically feasible." The other two Democrats voted with her."
Jennifer Kerr reports for the Associated Press July 13, 2011.