Walk with those seeking truth,

run from those who think they found it.

UPDATES:

1-8-2008 - CPSC clarifies requirements for resellers, thrift shops, and consignment stores. They are NOT required to TEST their inventory.. however, they are liable for ensuring they do not sell anything with more than 600 ppm of lead... basically, they dont HAVE to test.. but if they DONT test, and they sell something which is "toxic" they are liable.
STOCK STILL MUST BE TESTED... here is an official advisory from the CPSC in regards to requests to forgo testing on items made before Feb 10th, 2009 - http://cpsc.gov/library/foia/advisory/322.pdf

1-9-2008 - Just filmed story about CPSIA with KSL news Utah... not much new to report except that a letter from a congressman confirmed that wall art DOES fall under CPSIA laws... HOWEVER, natural materials and certain textiles MAY be exempt! A committee is voting on the issue.

to read more about POSSIBLE exemptions, go here:
http://cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia09/brief/leadlimits.pdf (it was voted on by the two committee members, and did pass.. but nothing is certain yet, as far as I know... so no celebrations yet)

 

I know this is long, but it is important. There is alot of panic in the handmade nation right now.. because this law directly affects us in an unfair way. We are doing everything we can to have it modified to include us, to be fair to us.. but at this point, we are being treated the same as big industry.. and while this will not affect them substantially, it WILL affect us. Hundreds, if not thousands, of crafters across our country will be put out of business. Those crafters are not only an intregal part of not only the local economy but they supply quality handmade goods as an alternative to mass produced and wasteful big box store goods. They will not be able to do what they do anymore if this law does not add an amendment for us.

So as a crafter this has hit home for me, last night my DH and I, and my mom on the phone.. sat down and read the 68 pages line by line, to see where I and my business fit into this. This affects anyone who sells goods to children under the age of 12, anyone who HAS children under the age of 12, anyone who MAKES goods for children under the age of 12, and anyone who buys things for children under the age of 12.

For those who don't know, the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008) is an act designed to protect our children from unsafe toys, aka.. lead at excessive levels.. and thats a noble cause, HOWEVER, this act requires ANY item designed, marketed to, intended for use by, or looks like it could be designed FOR any child under the age of 12 must be tested. Sounds like a good idea, but you have to consider that the cost for these tests (estimates on different websites vary) have ranged from $100.00 to $4000.00. Even if we assume its $100.00, the average crafter cannot afford to have every "batch" of their craft tested. This act is poorly written and doesnt adress the REAL problem... it forces testing on products manufactured in the US, when our products werent the problem to begin with. We should be forcing testing on every product IMPORTED to the US, but a witch hunt on good American companies making good healthy products is not helping. In this economy, do we really need to put more of a burden on our businesses?

THIS AFFECTS EVERYONE! This affects at home care-takers, daycares, and schools... as your cribs and any toy items must be tested for lead. This affects crafters, of course. This affects Re-sellers, such as Salvation army and others, as THEIR apparel and toys must be tested. This affects GARAGE SALES. According to this act, you CANNOT sell any item for children under the age of 12 which has not been certified to meet the legal levels of lead. I am NOT joking, that is in the act. It is breaking the law to do so, and the fines are high.

Heres an example... if a bib maker makes 10 different styles of bib, with two fabrics on each bib, velcro, and heavy weight sew in.. she must have all10 of those bibs tested, at the $100 a pop (or more) and if she sews a different style, even using the same fabrics, THAT must be tested. EVERY time she makes a new batch, they must be tested.. even if they use the same supplies. She must also PERMANENTLY label her items with the batch number, so consumers can know when it was made and what batch it came from.

If a dress maker who makes children's dresses sews 20 different dresses, in 3 sizes each, she must have ALL sizes of all 20 dresses tested, even if they are made of the same fabric. Thats 60 tests. And dont think this doesnt affect ADULT apparel makers too, because it does... how many of you have 12 year olds who wear "adult" clothing? Not all 12 year olds shop in the junior section.. so adult clothing manufacturers will have to take extra precaution to ensure their products are never marketed to anyone under the age of 12, it goes so far as to say they cannot APPEAL to children under the age of 12. The law STATES that.. how can a dress maker ensure their product doesnt appeal to a child under the age of 12?

Small businesses CANNOT absorb the costs of this, they will either close their doors or raise their prices.. or stop selling items for children under the age of 12. We all buy our products (materials) from retailers here in the US... surely if those products (materials) were tested that would be good enough, right? No. The finished product must be tested, regardless of the materials being safe.

Here are some TRUE-VRS-FALSE things we managed to find, in regards to this Act, and how it will affect CRAFTERS specifically, of any item for children under the age of 12. Do your own research and read the law.. and of course, all of this is subject to change because there are amendments to this Act, and there are people fighting to change it. This isnt the "final word" this is a.. right now we think.. kind of deal.

Statement - certain things will be exempt for testing, like apparel, because fabric doesnt have lead in it.
FALSE- all items marketed to, designed for, advertised as, or for use by a child under the age of 12 must be tested for lead, even if it does not contain any.

In 180 days, must test less than 600 parts per million. In 365 days, must test less than 300 parts per million. in 3 years from date of enactment, must test less than 100 parts per million. WHAT the item is does not matter. It MUST test if it is to be used by a child under the age of 12.

Statement - on Feb 10th the store shelves will be empty, everything not tested must be disposed of.
UNDETERMINED-I am getting conflicting information. I cant say yes or no on this, to be honest I dont trust anyones "opinion" on this, including mine. I have contacted my states governor, and my senator. Both of their "offices" have replied that my concerns will be addressed. I dont know how long that will take.

Statement - on Feb 10th you must stop selling anything which has not been tested
UNDETERMINED-I am getting conflicting information. I cant say yes or no on this. I have contacted my states governor, and my senator. Both of their "offices" have replied that my concerns will be addressed. I dont know how long that will take.

From what I read.. I gathered that all items are subject to an up to 10 month grace period for testing.. you have to have certificates for every item to prove you had them tested. BUT, I could have read it wrong. I will wait to see what the governor or senator says.
ACTUAL TIME LINE FOR ACCREDITATION-
ITEMS WITH PAINT - NO MORE THAN 30 DAYS
CRIBS, PACIFIERS - NO MORE THAN 60 DAYS
SMALL PARTS - NO MORE THAN 90 DAYS
CHILDRENS METAL JEWELRY - NO MORE THAN 120 DAYS
BABY BOUNCERS, WALKERS - NO MORE THAN 210 DAYS
ALL OTHER CHILDRENS PRODUCT SAFETY RULES - NO MORE THAN 310 DAYS (10 MONTHS)

THIS IS ACCORDING TO SECTION 102 of the ACT, view the PDF at Thomas.loc.gov, search H.R. 4040

Statement - All cribs must be tested if they are to be used in a daycare, home care facility, or to be re-sold (such as a hand-me down store, or consignment shop)
TRUE - unless amended (and it SHOULD be.) - It shall be a violation of section 19(a)(1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act for any person to which this applies to manufacture (make), sell (store or otherwise), contract to sell or resell (consignment store), lease, sublet, offer, provide for use (give away!!) or otherwise place in the stream of commerce a crib which is not in compliance with a standard promulgated under subsection (b). (meaning it must meet the lead levels I mentioned above... 600 parts per million, then 300.. maybe 100 eventually).

This applies to any person that -
(a) MANUFACTURES, DISTRIBUTES, OR CONTRACTS TO SELL CRIBS;    (Salvation army, Consignment stores, Goodwill, Garage sales, Deseret Industries, Baby stores, Walmart.. it affects ANYONE who wants to SELL a crib.)
(B) BASED ON THE PERSON OCCUPATION, HOLDS ITSELF OUT AS HAVING KNOWLEDGE OR SKILL PECULIAT TO CRIBS, INCLUDING CHILD CARE FACILITIES AND FAMILY CARE HOMES;   (Daycares, at home care facilities, babysitters, ANYONE who has children in their home and receive pay for it.)
(C) IS IN THE BUSINESS OF CONTRACTING TO SELL OR RESELL, LEASE, SUBLET, OR OTHERWISE PLACE CRIBS IN THE STREAM OF COMMERCE; OR (Consignment, Salvation army, Crib retailers, Baby Boutiques)
(D) OWNS OR OPERATES A PLACE OF PUBLIC ACCOMODATION AFFECTING COMMERCE  (HOTELS)

All "Durable infant or toddler products" must be tested... those are defined as:
(A) Full size cribs and non full-size cribs; (B) toddler beds; (C) high chairs, booster chairs, and hook-on chairs; (D) bath seats; (E) gates and other enclosures for confining a child; (F) play yards; (G) stationary activity centers; (H) infant carriers; (I) strollers; (J) walkers; (K) swings; and (L) bassinets and cradles.   
ALL of those items are included in the law I posted above, ALL are illegal to sell or give away, even by you, without a lead test certification.

If you planned to donate your childrens old items, you cant. If you planned to give them to a friend, you cant. If you planned to sell them, you definitely cant. According to this law, as it is written right now, you CANT. its ILLEGAL. (to find out what you can do, keep reading)

1) DEFINED TERMS- As used in this section

(A) The term `phthalate alternative' means any common substitute to a phthalate, alternative material to a phthalate, or alternative plasticizers

(B) The term `children's toy' means a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer for a child 12 years of age or younger for use by the child when the child plays

(C) The term `child care article' means a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep or the feeding of children age 3 and younger, or to help such children with sucking or teething. (PAJAMAS, BEDDING, BLANKETS, BIBS, PACIFIERS, TEETHERS, BOWLS, SPOONS, FORKS, CUPS, HIGHCHAIRS, ANYTHING TO HELP A CHILD SLEEP, EAT, SUCK, OR TEETH)

(D) The term `consumer product' has the meaning given such term in section 3(a)(1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2052(a)(1)).

(A) AGE- In determining whether products described in paragraph (1) are designed or intended for use by a child of the ages specified, the following factors shall be considered:

(i) A statement by a manufacturer about the intended use of such product, including a label on such product if such statement is reasonable.

(ii) Whether the product is represented in its packaging, display, promotion, or advertising as appropriate for use by children of the ages specified.

(iii) Whether the product is commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child of the ages specified.

(iv) The Age Determination guidelines issued by the Commission staff in September 2002 and any successor to such guidelines.

(B) TOY THAT CAN BE PLACED IN A CHILD'S MOUTH- For purposes of this section a toy can be placed in a child's mouthif any part of the toy can actually be brought to the mouthand kept in the mouthby a child so that it can be sucked and chewed. If the children's product can only be licked, it is not regarded as able to be placed in the mouth. If a toy or part of a toy in one dimension is smaller than 5 centimeters, it can be placed in the mouth.

Statement - well how will they know we are not complying? They wont worry about us, we're small potatoes.
TRUTH -Maybe, maybe not. Is it a risk you are willing to take? I listed the fines below. Just be aware, in the UK they have had tougher toy laws for a long time.. as a result, their toys are safer.. but also as a result, crafters are subject to having their product confiscated, even at craft shows, if they do not comply withthe law and regulations. YES, they can find you. Will they? Maybe not.. but I am not willing to risk a $100,000 fine to find out.  Furthermore, craft shows and farmers markets and other venues we sell our products in will not take on the liability of selling our un-tested products.. because then the fine is theirs, not ours!

(1) CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY ACT- Section 20(a)(1) (15 U.S.C. 2069(a)(1)) is amended--

 

        (A) by striking `$5,000' and inserting `$100,000';

 

        (B) by striking `$1,250,000' both places it appears and inserting `$15,000,000'; and

 

        (C) by striking `December 1, 1994,' in paragraph (3)(B) and inserting `December 1, 2011,'.
          (they took the fine from $5000, and made it $100,000?!!?!?!!)
          (read first reply for how you can help.) Vote POP, EVERY mom needs to see this!

        Add A Comment

        Comments:

        Lumin...
        Dec. 5, 2008 at 2:08 PM

        #1. Contact the local media. Millions of americans have no idea this act even passed, or what affect it would have on them. We need this to be investigated further, we need answers on EXACTLY what affect this will have on our kids, our economy, and our pocketbooks. We need answers on EXACTLY what as crafters, we can do to make our voice heard in this law! I am a CRAFTER, not a CRIMINAL… and just because they forgot me when writing this act doesn’t mean I should have to break the law to do what I love. I refuse to do something illegal, so we need to stand up and make them remember that they left us out. If they DIDN’T leave us out, and intended to treat us as equals along with multi-million dollar retailers, they need to realise their mistake and do something about it.

        #2. Contact your Congress member, and your Senate member. There are links and sample letters to send below. They need to remember us, and speak for us! They work for US. You voted them in on Nov 4th.. make them work for you! Contact the office of the president elect! Tell him this is unjust and unfair, and tell him why! He will be in office when this act takes affect… hold him accountable and tell him we need his help. If he is for small business, as he said, then he needs to take notice and stand up for us. GW signed this into law…maybe Obama can publically denounce the affect it will have on small business and make congress take action.

        http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/ (read more about it, and there are links here and a sample letter you can customize and send to your congress member and senate!)

         http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/national-bankruptcy-day/ (read more about it)

        Sign the petition here… http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/

        Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

        pumpk...
        Dec. 5, 2008 at 3:50 PM

        Super informative and should be read by everyone!!! Thank you for all of your research!!

        Message Friend Invite

        mommy...
        Dec. 5, 2008 at 4:09 PM

        Tons of info (overwhelming...) Thanks to you and your family for the break-down!  Something to definitely keep a close eye on.

        Message Friend Invite

        honey...
        Dec. 5, 2008 at 4:33 PM

        Thanks for posting this! This helps to  understand it a little more clearly.

        Message Friend Invite

        Jonie...
        Dec. 5, 2008 at 4:38 PM

        Wow my head is swimming now from all this info. LOL

        Message Friend Invite

        Lumin...
        Dec. 5, 2008 at 5:45 PM

        lol my head is still swimming too... my mom helped alot, she is looking at it objectively too, so that helped.. I was so mad I wasnt reading it clearly the first few times. I hope we get more info in the next few days.. and I hope someone in the media agrees to help!

        Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

        moomers
        Dec. 5, 2008 at 10:15 PM

        Truly overwhelming.I'm all for the safety of our children's products but not at the expense of  our citizens.Our Government ( if truly concerned for our well-being and deciding to intervene)should have the responsibility of insuring our materials are safe.Why can't they see how negatively this could affect the economy????

        Message Friend Invite

        Lumin...
        Dec. 6, 2008 at 12:48 AM

        I dont know :( I hope that someone gets through to them, and they place an amendment for us. I dont make childrens items at this point but I wanted to in the future... it saddens me to think I wouldnt be able to buy my kids hand-made items anymore.. I sometimes buy from big-box because its cost affective but I strive to buy handmade as much as I can.. I appreciate what they are trying to do with the law, after all, we all want our kids toys to be safe; but they are also taking away my right to choose for my own family so its frustrating. Lets hope our voice is heard!!

        Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

        tuff_...
        Dec. 6, 2008 at 12:23 PM Thank you so much for breaking it down!!
        I have a question though, or just a confirmation that I understand. I AM NOT planning on getting any testing done. I have TONS of fabric that will be useless if I dont sell children's dresses. So if I make as many as possible by the time the law is active in february I can sell those (without testing) for 10 months?

        I better get to work...

        Message Friend Invite

        jennyoh
        Dec. 6, 2008 at 2:05 PM

        WTF.

        i am so livid-- this is the first i am hearing about this.

        http://www.zrecommends.com/detail/breaking-news-selecta-to-cease-us-distribution-due-to-cspia/

        write you congress(wo)man. that's the only real way to get anything changed.

        Message Friend Invite

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