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...

1 comment:

  1. here, here! Thanks for continuing the fight with so many of us here on Etsy!