U.S. may ease lead ban

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Dealers may be allowed to sell

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to put off enforcing a ban on small motorcycles and ATVs for children until May 2011.

Two Oklahoma state representatives drew up a resolution asking Congress and the CPSC to lift the ban, which had been written into the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act out of concern that lead in motorcycles and ATVs would harm children. The ban became law in February and prohibited the sale of dirt bikes and ATVs built for children under 13, distressing motorcycle dealers across the country, who were left holding products that they could not sell.

The law states that products for children must not contain more than 600 parts per million of lead by weight, and the CPSC says engines, brakes, and other components of youth-model ATVs and motorcycles are above the limit.

But the state representatives say the lead in small motorcycles won’t be eaten by children and also claim that the ban could actually endanger children by forcing them to ride larger machines, which are not included in the ban.

It’s still up to the attorney-generals of Oklahoma and other states to determine whether enforcement of the ban should be halted.

The two state representatives, Democrat Ken Luttrell and Republican Rex Duncan, are motorcyclists.

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