WASHINGTON (AP) – The Consumer Product Safety Commission will delay enforcement of a new anti-lead law as it pertains to the sale of youth ATVs and dirt bikes.

The law has kept all-terrain vehicles and other motorbikes designed for children off showroom floors not because of concerns over safety for those operating the vehicles, but because some bike parts contain lead.

The agency’s two commissioners voted for the delay late Friday. CPSC on Monday announced the enforcement delay, which will be effective for two years, until May 1, 2011.

The commission has expressed concern that parents of children wanting the youth motorbikes might instead opt to buy bigger, adult ATVs for their youngsters to ride – machines that aren’t built for children and can cause them serious harm.

The new law, called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, was intended to keep lead away from young children by banning the metal, except in small amounts, from products for children who are 12 years and under. The bill passed Congress last year after a series of toy recalls because of lead paint.

When the new lead limit took effect in February, most motorbike sellers of youth models pulled their inventory and stopped selling the machines because some parts contain lead.

The motorcycle industry says the brake and clutch levers or the valve stems on tires can contain small quantities of lead, but the risk of children ingesting the lead is minimal. A recent CPSC staff report said the risk of exposure to lead from dirt bikes and ATVs is relatively low.

The enforcement delay applies to youth ATVs and motorbikes made before the new lead limit took effect earlier this year and all those made until April 30, 2011.

On the Net:

Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov

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