The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 lowers allowable lead levels for all children products. The bicycle industry freaked when they realized there's no way they can sell bike tires, brakes and other components with legally required lead levels.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stay, which was announced in May, takes effect today. The CPSC will not apply this limit to certain parts of bicycles, jogger strollers, and bicycle trailers after the Bicycle Products Supplier Association (BPSA) submitted a petition with data suggesting that the components in children's bicycles and related products contain lead in amounts not greater than those permitted under the RoHS and ELV Directives.
According to the BPSA, attaining the required lead levels is technologically impossible or replacement materials are not available in the quantities required. I know several companies planned to just stop bike and accessory sales in the United States, so I'm sure they're all breathing a sigh of relief.
The bike industry is not completely off the hook -- the CPSC Stay expires in 2011. The industry is expected to have new manufacturing processes by then.
The biggest problem with this law is that the loose wording includes ALL bicycles with 24-inch wheels or smaller, including mountain bikes, recumbent road bikes, and BMX bikes. The problem with that is that many products in these categories are intended for use by adults and not children, yet the law regulates them as if they were children's toys.
Most of you probably don't ride BMX bikes, but imagine if the price of your car went up because CPSC requires the testing of all of its parts for lead in order to protect children.