Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CPSIA- When Protecting Our Children Means Harming Our Country

The general gist of this law as I understand it is that after feb 10th all materials used in children's toys, clothes, ANYTHING must be tested at 200-500 a pop for toxins. Any item that is not compliant with testing, whether it was produced prior to the date of effect of this law is suppose to go into land fills.

I really think we should have better safety laws, however the way this law is written is going to put small businesses, work at home businesses and thrift stores like good will out of business from fees or they just have to not sell ANY children items. Not to mention all the stuff going into landfills.  Businesses like Kids to Kids have already released statements that on the 10th they will be closing their doors and are presumed to be filing for bankruptsy. Stores across etsy and hyenacart are selling off stock and clearancing out items because they can not afford to be compliant with this law.

This law was rushed through the government and because of that is seriously flawed in a way that will be further crippling an economy that is already in crisis. I totally agree that there should be better safety laws for children, but I also believe that the state of the economy is very important to my child's well being as well, and I worry about what happens when a law like this puts thousands out of work when jobs are already too hard to find.

I can only imagine how expensive this is going to make childrens items. It's also going to make buying childrens items from thrifts stores almost impossible for quite some time and think of all the items that are going to be wasted now. On top of that by grinding all those wonderful child related wah and small businesses to a hault it is harming local purchasing and benefiting those big companies who produce and trade internationally that will now have less made in the usa competition.

As I said before I agree there should be better child safety laws, but there must be a better way to go about it then this.

The following info is from another concerned parent, known around various forums as mommyfairyqueen.

I have 4 resources for everyone...
the first is The Handmade Toy Alliance (this link actually goes to their "how you can help" page on which you can sign an online petition and obtain a "sample letter" to send to your senators and representitaves. I personally have done these things though my letter included points on resale, environmental responsibility and social responsibility (as this will affect the Fair Trade market). From this page they provide links to the senators and representitaves web pages on which you can send e-mails as well.

The second link is to the US CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commision) on this site you can find info on these required tests and some of what their responses are. Under their "What's Hot" has some info and if you go to the "What's Popular" link, under Lead, you will find things from their employees roundtable siminars. There is also a link to contact them as well.
I have a friend that is a corporate lawyer who while he doesn't know a lot about the current CPSIA, he is willing to answer and interpret any terms you don't understand about the law itself, just pm me and I will ask his thoughts and insight on this.

This is the link to the actual CPSIA law if you are wanting to sit and try to read it (62 pages of lots of leagal stuff)

The fourth is a link that has good information and a place to "vote" (kinda the same as signing a petition) the people at Change.org are taking some ideas to president elect Obama for "change" the Handmade Toys Alliance has proposed some changes to this law (CPSIA) Over the past week you have seen many posts on this and lots of links to help get this law changed. Please don't stop your efforts to help keep our economy, our environment, and our global social responsibilities from falling to the wayside due to this bill.

The link is: http://www.change.org/ideas/view/save_handmade_toys_from_the_cpsia
I am still encouraging everyone to write their representatives and senators as well as signing petitions.

Please help us on this issue.

Another page to visit if you have a small business to take the surveys an see the impact this law will have on you.

http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/cpsia-please-take-the-economic-impact-survey/

And my understanding is that at this time The Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to consider some exemptions, but not made a final decisions, here's a link to a story on that-

Regulators rethink rules on testing children's clothing and toys for lead- http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lead7-2009jan07,0,6917858.story

Just released- http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09086.html

It looks like this says they are have interpretted it to not affect reselling as much. Although the wording is a bit odd, as they are saying resellers aren't required to test items but shouldn't sell items without proof they don't exceed the limits of toxins.

This still leaves small businesses and wah in a lurch in a way that will further cripple our recessed economy.

About Me

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I'm a semi crunchy stay at home wife and mama of two boys. Extend Breastfeed, Cloth diaper, Cosleep, Babywear, Homeschool, Homebirth. My sons and I have some serious health concerns (allergies, growth hormone, kidney, lung, spine, etc...). We didn't realize they were genetic (or I had) until after Trace's birth. Tristian had some big medical and possibly/probably autism related delays in early childhood but also taught himself to read at 2yrs and started on math equations at 4yrs. Trace is bit delayed across the board by about 6 months, but as he's 1yr+ behind in height... it's not very noticable ;-) Trace is very musical and hands on. With plenty of common sense, love, good doctors and faith we are doing wonderfully!

This wonderful chapter in my life of discovering the green subculture has (mostly) ended. Living green on a budget has changed from the thrill of discovery to habit. This blog remains in rememberance- with occasionally crossover posting. I hope you join me- the same green mama on a budget, in a new blog celebrating life's daily experiences- LIFE O'KAY http://lifeokay.blogspot.com/ Still lots of crafts & crunchiness- with even more sweet family moments.

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