(Aside – Burning Man tickets go on sale tomorrow Wednesday January 14th!!! Didn’t want that info to get buried.)
You may not have heard about this, but chances are, you will.
I heard something in passing but never paid attention. Today, I read about a hooper selling her hoops in Oregon who was told she can no longer sell them by shop owners.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (“CPSIA”) came about as a result of the toy recall in 2007 where some items produced in China containing high lead content, unsafe parts, and dangerous chemicals.
But they got a little carried away. All manufacturers of items for children under 12 are now facing tight restrictions, prohibitively expensive testing fees, and enough legal hoops to close thousands of small businesses.
One poster on the Etsy forums for the CPSIA owns a small bookstore where 2,000 children’s books have been pulled from the shelves and must be destroyed, not even given away for free. Any uncertified items are “contraband” and it will be illegal to sell or give away items to charity – even perfectly functional items must be destroyed or thrown in our landfills.
Thrift stores won’t be able to sell any children’s items. The children’s consignment shop that only came to my town recently may have closed it’s doors already, I don’t know. (ETA: I hear that used clothing is excluded, but new clothing is not… But I have not confirmed this.)
There is speculation over how this will affect taxes for schools (since educational supplies and textbooks are currently included) and even the simple availability of parts to repair a child’s bicycle. This does not only affect the small businesses run out of homes, and parents of children under 12, but really affects us all. The price to test items can run up to $4,000 PER ITEM – which most one-of-a-kind, small production companies or crafters cannot afford.
Even if you are an adult, purchasing something as simple as a hula hoop for yourself, this law can impact you. As the nation is facing an economic crisis, costs of toys and clothing will increase and selection will decrease.
This really will affect all of us – please take a moment to read up on the act and take action. Here are several resources and recommended ways to voice your opinion! Also please write to your Congress Person and Senator to request changes to save handmade children’s products – a sample letter is here, and you can find your Congress Person and Senator here.
Comments must be received by the Office of the Secretary no later than January 30, 2009. Comments may be filed by email to Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov. Comments may also be filed by facsimile to (301) 504-0127 or by mail or delivery to the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 502, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland, 20814. Comments should be captioned “Section 102 Mandatory Third-Party Testing of Component Parts.” Interested persons will also have additional opportunities to comment following publication of any notices of rulemaking proceedings in the Federal Register which are commenced under this section.
A blogging crafter’s personal story about public apathy regarding this act
Change.org – vote, and this issue may be one of 10 the site brings to a Washington DC seminar
Reform CPSIA – information on a class action lawsuit for consumers and businesses
We all want children to be safe and protected from harmful items, but this act is a totally inappropriate reaction to the events in 2007 and innocent people are the victims. Please speak up and let your voice be heard. Thank you.