Friday, January 09, 2009


Hello friends,

You know I try to avoid politics at all costs on this blog, but I've run across something I just can't keep quiet about anymore.

I wonder how many of you have heard about the CPSIA Act of 2008? It stands for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

First off let me say, I'm all for keeping our products safe... But this piece of legislation has created a lot more problems than it will solve.

In a nutshell it requires that all products (toys, clothing, bedding, dishes, etc) intended for use by children under the age of 12 be tested for lead and pthalates and labeled accordingly.

On the surface this looks like a good idea. It would save us from all the recall scares from toys made in China and such. We could know that we weren't inadvertently poisoning our children when we give them a plastic gummy toy to chew on.

But here's the rub. This applies to all products no matter where they were made if they are for sale in the US. So... you want to make some carved wooden toys and sell them on Etsy or Ebay or even out of your home? You have to test them. To the tune of up to $4,000 per item. Me thinks that might just put a few small businesses out of business entirely! Here's a link to the Handmade Toy Alliance where they explain it much better than I can.
Here's an excerpt from that example:
The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of children's goods that have earned and kept the public's trust: Toys, clothes, and accessories made in the US, Canada, and Europe. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade children's products will no longer be legal in the US.

If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmers market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered. (because they can afford the testing fees based on the bulk that they sell - my explanation)

It also applies to all items for resale after February 10, 2009. Think about your local resale clothing shop? They either have to test all their clothing or throw it away. They can't sell it, they can't even give it away. It's considered contraband. (Wonder how fast our landfills are going to be filled with perfectly good clothes?) Ebay and Amazon Marketplace will also be enforcing this. You won't be able to sell anything used either.

What can we do?

Let's write our congressmen and senators and ask them to please amend this piece of legislation!

Tests are already done by materials makers (to comply with current regulations) so much of this testing is redundant in the US. We need an exemption for items made in the US of US materials.
Conversely the Handmade Toy Alliance is proposing that the CSPC provide free testing for small businesses.

If you want to be able to buy local, handmade, or even used goods for children after February 10th we need to take action on this!

Write to your senators and congressmen, even the CSPC - try modifying the letter found here. All links will open in a new tab.

And thanks for caring!

0 lovely comments:

Post a Comment

Shower me with your wit, your wisdom, or your funny stories! And please leave an email address if you would like a reply.