Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.

Products must still be lead free, but at least for the next year you do not need to test and certify. During this time they will be exploring the exemptions and provisions in a more reasonable time frame, so it gives us much more time to help get changes made

Happy Happy Joy Joy here is more information :

The battle is not over but voices have been heard which is a start.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA But This Doesn't Affect Me

Do you know how many people make baby gear, or children’s toys, etc? I never thought about it until I joined a group of crafters all making and selling hand made items on a "web shop" called Etsy.

There was a law passed back in November 2008 called CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This is supposed to be is a consumer protection law and goes into effect Febuary 10, 2009.

I am a divorced mother of three children all grown so at first, when I saw all these posts on this new law I thought nothing about it...after all my crafts are for teens and up.

Then I started to read some of these posts, and I saw how far reaching this new law is and the enormity of the people who can, and will be hurt by this if it is allowed to go into effect the way it is written.

You do not have to have small children of your own to have this law affect you. This law reaches out and affects practically every one of us in some way.

I have friends who have kids. It will affect them because some have young ones and do buy or create home made.

An Adorable Etsy Baby

A lot of neighborhood stores have some type of hand made items or small toys things in them. This will affect the mom and pop stores that carry these type of items so in essence that can of Campbells Soup you just bought from the neighborhood quickie store may cost you more to help make up that difference the store now loses since it lost items that did not fall under CPSIA Standards.

Larger stores who cannot afford testing or whose distributors will not test are going to have to find ways to make up for lost revenue or close like many hand made item crafters are doing on Etsy and other online stores.

I asked the question, "How can this law affect others who do not have children?" and found the responses shocking. I'll share them with you:

simplyforyou brought up soaps and shampoos. Many of these items use colorant, and some have imbedded toys. I know some adults who use these childrens products because they feel the adult products are just to harsh on themselves.

trinlayk made a list of some ways this law will affect us.

How will it affect people who don't have kids?

1) taxes, you'll pay more because schools and libraries will have to test everything that the kids come into contact with.

2) crime: families that can't afford a new winter coat for the growing kids won't be able to get one at Salvation Army / Goodwill... very poor families won't be able to get coats from Coats for kids unless those coats have been tested.

3) environmental issues: a great deal of stock will become a hot-potato and end up in land fills. Stock that for the most part is safe, will be dumped.

4) Prices for Childrens items go up, leading to:

5)Prices for EVERYTHING will go up: families will buy less, if they need $$ to buy necessities for kids, they will cut corners on other things. Fewer trips to community events, fewer restaurant meals, fewer trips to anything (gas vs clothes for baby...), buying less clothing, cosmetics, etc to be able to have $$ available to buy things the kids need.

6) unemployment will go up: home workers now looking for outside work, but also, as people use less, buy less, go out less, there will be less money going out to pay people to do jobs that people can do without.

7) people who had been self employed at home, are now applying for energy assistance, food stamps, AFDC.

8) People who would have gotten help from Salvation Army and Goodwill and similar agencies might be on their own, as many of these agencies rely on resale shops to support their programs. Top selling items in these resale shops are kids clothes, with toys and books for kids close behind.

These fine Etsy Crafters cannot just put a disclaimer in their shop. They will have no choice. They will either have to pay possibly upward in the hundreds, or thousands for component testing, get affidavits from their distributors saying their products meet the standards, or close their shops.

This law affects any crafter, or distributor who makes or carries items for children 12 and under. Just imagine what this will mean to your local schools and libraries as well?

Check this link out from the "American Library Association"

Thank you bmerry1 for that link.

trinlayk said "one book out of each "class" (1 book out of each edition used by the school) will have to be tested. desks, black boards, paint on the walls, (probably not the chalk, that's probably AP oked)... cleaning supplies that might leave residue or come into contact with the kids... "

This has me wondering if the schools are going to have to come to the voters once again to ask us to approve bonds to help cover this testing since their monies are already so tight and over budgeted.

Oh by the way, those cute little painted lady bug earrings in your three year daughters ears need to go. I'm sorry they may not pass standards since they are painted and sold as childrens earrings / novelties. Better check that teddy bear you were considering buying for your new nephews christening as well as the pretty set of mittens, hat and scarf you were going to get for your niece to use in the snow when she comes to visit.

This outfit will have to sell for $2940.00 and she will be not making a profit on it after the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act goes into affect on February 10th. This law requires her to have her outfits components tested for lead and pthalates even though it is made of nontoxic materials. Here is the breakdown of the costs so you can see that it is no joke!!

Lead Testing
$70 per component
thread 2 kinds ($140)
fabric ($70)
bias tape ($70)
elastic ($70)
shirt ($70)
tag ($70)

pthalates testing
$350 per component
thread 2 kinds ($700)
fabric ($350)
bias tape ($350)
elastic ($350)
shirt ($350)
tag ($350)

With the new law that will go into effect Feb. 10, 2009, the CPSIA will require that each store selling products for children under the age of 12 test each product in our shops for lead. Each component will cost $70 and this tutu has eight components -two rolls of tulle each needing to be tested, two different ribbons, one type of thread, elastic band, silk flower, and an alligator clip making the charge $560. Add in the additional $350 per component for phthalates testing and that adds another $2800 making this tutu that original cost $18.50 to the grand total of $3,378.50!!!

This in my humble opinion has gotten totally out of hand.

What prompted this anyway you ask? Remember the issue a while back when China was recalling all those toys?

CPSIA was passed by Congress in response to the recall of over 15 million toys that were imported from China from 2007-2008. In this legislation, Congress stipulated that every product intended for use by a child under the age of 12 must be tested and certified to meet the safety standards issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

I believe this was done in haste and no one thought of the ramifications that such a law would have.

Please support these crafters and all the others who make hand made items for our children. (Please click on the pictures or names to go directly to their Etsy Shop)

Buy handmade now while you still can. any people count on you...

Time to Unite

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.