Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA Blog-In: Save Handmade! Save Children's Books! Save Antique Toys!

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As parents and/or 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.

Have you sent your comments regarding component testing to the CPSC yet? The American Apparel and Footwear Association has made it easy for you to submit this important information with pre-written text that can be sent directly to the CPSC with the click of a button. You can of course edit the text if you have the time. Visit this page today, before it's too late. Your comments could make a huge difference, saving the livelihood of many thousands of Americans. Pass it on!

Here are a few handmade items from fantastic sellers of quality children's items. Please help get awareness out about the CPSIA, so that quality businesses and handmade items like these can continue to be made for generations to come! Help save handmade!

1.) Fancy Gal Custom Boutique Tutu:

2.) Handpainted Zen Buddha Tank Top:

3.) Coming Up Roses Boutique Hair Bow Holder:

4.) Plushie Beach Ball:

*** A special thank you to Holly of Winklepots and Gretchen of Chichibouli, for organizing this blog in and putting together the above information for all to read and share with the world!

Please EVERYONE! Help get the word out! We all can make a difference in getting this law amended!


New England Quilter said...

Nice Post Elegant! I hope that there are more exemptions ahead of us!

Leah said...

It blows my mind. I added my thoughts & a link to the forbes article to my "wordless" wednesday post...

Winklepots said...

Here's hoping for an amendment soon! Thanks for sharing the link at the bottom.

Karen Faulkner said...

Thanks for posting. I just submitted my comments to the link you provided.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post! I'll have to look into that. :)

panda with cookie said...

Thanks for blogging today.
I love your shop.

Cathy said...

what a huge impact this law will have! as usual, lawmakers have not fully thought things through...will Etsy cease to exist? imagine th ehundreds of sellers just on there who will lose out!

aliceinparis said...

Thanks for posting. I think things will start to change for the better.

The Fab Miss B said...

Glad to see another post on this. I hope it brings about the changes we want to see.

pepperberry said...

Thanks for posting this & helping to get the word out!!

Janna said...

Very interesting post. I had no idea. In addition to commenting at the link you provided, maybe we all need to write letters to President Obama. He can always veto it if he wants to.

Janna said...

Okay, I just read the article at Forbes. I didn't realize this legislation has already been passed. Like when President Obama was Senator Obama. And Bush didn't veto it. Ignore my previous comment, please.

Punkinhead said...

Looks like some progress has been made... good to know that the people's voices are being heard.

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