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Maryland next to get the lead out?

Maryland might be the next state to pass a ban on lead in children’s products, following California, Michigan and Illinois, which we wrote about yesterday. Laura Smitherman of the Baltimore Sun in her story, “Lawmakers mull ban on lead toys,” says some Maryland legislators don’t want to wait around for the feds to get their act together.

Similar legislation banning lead products passed the Maryland House of Delegates unanimously last year, but it wasn’t considered by the full Senate. Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, a Baltimore Democrat, is sponsoring the bill in her chamber this year and said that she anticipates little opposition from lawmakers.

“We don’t want our children coming into contact with lead-containing toys,” she said. “I think that one of our responsibilities is to protect the children.”

According to a fiscal analysis of the bill, increased state inspections would cost more than $50,000 a year. If a product is found to be hazardous, it would have to be removed from store shelves.

The U.S. House passed a consumer protection bill in December and the Senate is going to vote on its version shortly. Both bills set standards for lead in children’s products. Stay tuned to this blog, we’ll have a lot more to say on the issue in the next day.