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Every mom should sign this petition!

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 10:12 PM
  • 2 Replies

If you want to read a little about the new toy law.. look here..

Everyone wants safer toys and other items for their kids -- there's no question of that. So in 2008, Congress approved the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a sweeping reform of current safety legislation. Sounds great, right? Now our kids can be protected from lead and phthalates in numerous products, and who on earth would vote against that?

Well, the trouble is the broad scope of the legislation. It doesn't target only plastic or lead-painted toys from China. It targets every single item made and sold in the United States that will be used on or around children. Whether you're a giant corporation importing toys, or a tiny garage business making wooden toys, or, like me, a mom sewing slings to help pay her mortgage, everything has to be tested. And this means, every fabric, every color, every different color of ring, has to be tested for lead. Testing done by the fabric manufacturers themselves is not enough -- it's finished products that have to be tested, so just testing upstream is not sufficient. Every small business will be required to test each and every component of its items for sale, and label them with a batch number and date of manufacture. This includes thread, buttons, fabric, etc. If they do not comply, they are in violation of federal law and could be subject to fines up to $100,000 PER ITEM - and even jail time. Any children's items made before this date that are not tested and certified lead-free are considered banned hazardous waste and cannot be sold after February 10, 2009. Even fabrics and other materials that were tested by their manufacturer not to contain lead must have third-party testing done.

Testing for lead costs more than $100 per item. For me, that means a conservative estimate of $8000, based on my current fabric inventory (add another $2000+ if I add more colors or fabrics in the future, which I will need to do eventually). I would also need to test thread, zippers and snaps -- each different color -- so I would be looking at around $10,000 (minimum) in testing. That's a huge portion of my annual profits -- more than I care to admit!

Obviously, that is totally unsustainable for a small business, or even a big one. My business, along with pretty much every single other cottage industry, would be forced to close down, or face fines of $100,000 and even jail time for violating this law. If we pass the costs on to you, the consumer, we'd be looking at price increases of 2-5 times the current prices at least.

This goes for other textile items as well... including knit hats, blankets, cloth diapers, stuffed animals and other plush, and boutique clothing. Every WAHM producing anything of that nature will be affected by the law. Keep in mind that lead levels in fabric are already low -- on the order of <10ppm. The standards right now are 900ppm, falling to 90ppm in the future. Even at that level, the vast majority of fabrics (barr those with plasticized overlays, which have been an issue in the past) would pass... but the act doesn't specify that fabrics are exempt.

The economic impacts this law has on business in America cannot be understated. One gentleman has gone so far as to dub the day the testing provisions go into effect (Feb 10, 2009) "National Bankruptcy Day", because any business that hasn't tested its products will be unable to even liquidate its inventory (since untested products are assumed to be full of lead and thus hazardous), leading to mass bankruptcies. That's NOT what our already-shrinking economy needs right now.

The law was well-intentioned, to keep children from getting sick and dying from lead poisoning. But it ignores the fact that the vast majority of lead-tainted products were from large manufacturers, almost universally imported from Asia, and instead puts this impossible testing standard squarely on the backs of small American businesses, the very ones that Americans want to shop with right now for their record of safety and honesty. What this act will end up doing is making it impossible for small businesses to compete (since the costs of testing will have to be passed on to consumers, and small businesses will pay disproportionately compared to big ones), and limiting the choices Americans have in their shopping.

 

here's the petition site: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html

 

by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 10:12 PM
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jacejenkins
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 10:16 PM

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

It is as simple as purchasing parts that have been tested and made after the date specified. 

AshleyCheri
by on Jan. 25, 2009 at 10:39 PM

actually, the law states that even if you make a sling from fabric that has already been tested, or a toy from parts that have already been tested, your finished product if the product that must be tested!! it is ridiculous.

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