January 12, 2009

More about the CPSIA!

It is so sad that this law slipped right past all of us and I don't know what can really be done to fix it. There have been some exclusions made for natural fabrics and natural gems, but where does that leave those of us who use fabric that have been dyed? The paints I'm using are certified NON-TOXIC, but this stupid law says I have to test every clip I make using the paint to certify that each clip is non-toxic. Does that make any sense at all?? Yes, I believe we need to make things safe for kids, but this law is OVERKILL! So, I want you to go over to sign a petition to repeal it. Let's just end the law before it even goes into effect! http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/RepealCPSIA/.

I want you to fully understand the far-reaching scope of this law. It FEDERALLY BANS all products intended for children under 12 that have not been certified as having less than a certain level of lead in them. The certification only comes after you have tested each component of the item and each component has less than 600 ppm (parts per million) by weight. The regulations become more stringent in August, so something I can sell right now might feasibly be illegal come August.

So, we are talking about books, CDs, clothing (i.e. those adorable outfits from little boutiques), diapers, children's furniture (i.e. that one-of-a-kind hand-painted stool in your son's bathroom), jewelry (i.e. that fantastic beaded necklace you found for your daughter at a farmer's market), bedding (i.e. that cute little quilt your mom made your daughter or the crocheted blanket you bought from a craft fair), toys (i.e. that beautifully hand-sewn bear your son sleeps with every night)....the list goes on. After Feb. 10, you will find less and less of these specialty items because those cute little boutiques will have to shut down - the testing simply isn't cost effective enough for them to stay in business.

And, if you think it only affects those selling handmade items, think again. This law will eventually trickle down to affect YOUR pocketbook. All of the above items you've bought for your children at Target or Toys R Us are going to cost more because companies are going to have to pass the cost of testing along to you, the consumer. Besides having a lot less options, you are going to have to spend more of the money you don't have right now on clothes for your children.

And, if you think you'll be able to get children's products at 2nd hand stores, think again! Yes, the CPSC did make a clarification to the law regarding reselling, but you must read the wording very carefully. Though it says that resellers (including Good Will, folks) will not have to have certification on the items they sell, they will face consequence (read: huge fines or jail time) if they are caught selling something that does not meet the CPSC's requirements for lead. Well, I think that means that they will either have to test or just HOPE that they aren't selling something that is against the law.

Oh, and one more thing...lest you think you can craft something for your friend's child or your grandson, this law stops you from doing that, too! You cannot even give away something you've made for a child unless it has been tested and certified!!

Do you see how this trickles down and affects ALL of you? Please do something! The petition above is a good place to start. If you think I'm crazy, here are just a few of the news stories that are starting to run (finally it's getting some media attention!). If you go to You Tube and search CPSC or CPSIA, you will find many more.

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