Rogue River bans novelty lighters

ROGUE RIVER — With just a statement from the local fire marshal and no public comment, the City Council has banned novelty lighters from being sold or distributed inside city limits.

The city is the second in the state after Sandy and the first in the Rogue Valley to ban the lighters, which resemble everything from cell phones to matchbox cars.

Rogue River's ban, approved at Thursday's City Council meeting, takes effect immediately.

Rogue River Fire District fire marshal Mark Northrop presented the proposal to city officials last month, citing higher-than-legal lead content in brightly colored paint and the toylike appearance of the lighters. Several Rogue River businesses had been selling the lighters.

At the national level, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden also this year circulated a draft bill to declare the lighters a banned hazardous substance under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

City officials said Northrop planned to present information on novelty lighters to surrounding cities to encourage similar laws.

— Buffy Pollock, for the Mail Tribune

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