Monday, December 8, 2008

New CPSC regulations on children's products

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which was passed by US Congress in August imposes a ban on lead in all products intended for the use of children age 12 and under. While at first this sounds like a good idea, as we all want our children to be safe, it is a sweeping legislation that could effectively wipe out all small businesses and independent makers of children's toys, clothing, and accessories, and drive up the cost of the rest. The law states that all products, even those which by their nature do not contain lead, must be tested by a third party lab. These tests can be quite costly at up to $300 per test or more. Say you have an independent designer who makes several styles of dresses for girls. If each dress contains 3 different fabrics, thread, buttons, and a zipper, the tests could cost up to $1800 or more for just that one style. And each different style would have to be tested seperately, even if they use some of the same materials. Since many of the independent and small business don't have the funds available to afford such high-cost testing, we will be faced with two options:

1. Sell our products illegally.
2. Go out of business.

I would be devastated to see all the work I have put into not only my own business, but also into the EtsyKids Team over the past 2 years, just disappear because of this.
And this won't just affect the small businesses and independent makers of children's products. Do you really think the large corporations will just absorb this new cost? Of course not...they will pass along this expense to you, the consumer, potentially sky-rocketing the cost of all products for kids. I am so overwhelmed and distraught over this, I can hardly think straight. Fortunately there are other people who have been able to put together some very eloquent writings on the subject, so I'm going to share the links with you here:

Blog posts:
http://www.gorgeousbaby.ca/blog/?p=79
http://mollyodesigns.blogspot.com/2008/12/write-to-your-representative.html
http://mamasmagic.blogspot.com/2008/12/do-you-love-handmade-have-kids-of-your.html

More info, and how you can help:
http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html
http://nationalbankruptcyday.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Protection_Safety_Improvement_Act\
http://www.coolmompicks.com/2008/12/save_handmade_toys_in_the_us.php

And here's a link to the law itself:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpsia.pdf

3 comments:

LeakyMouth said...

I am so happy to read that you questioned admin in the teams forum! Thank you. I can't wait to ready the replies.

Kathleen Fasanella said...

Thanks for publicizing this! May I also suggest visiting what many are describing as the "War Room" for up to the minute updates and focused activism? It's the most active site on the web.
http://tinyurl.com/5fhzbd

Little Dickens Designs said...

I blogged about all this too on Friday. It's just crazy! I hope we can get the public to learn more about this issue.

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