Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.

1/03/2009

Handmade Toys Illegal : CPSIA

Save Handmade Toys I'm nervous about the CPSIA passing because for me it will mean switching gears on the items I sell on my website, AuntArt.com . I won't shut down but I wouldn't be able to offer toys and many children's items any longer, items that have been the backbone of my business. Think for a moment about how many crafts people will be closing, and also the small boutique stores that carry my products will close because the artists won't be able to afford the 3rd party lead testing. I'm a parent and I agree that we need to protect our children but there is a difference between the man in VT who makes wooden toys out of his garage and sells them on etsy.com and the factory in china who is producing plastic toys with high levels of lead. The CPSIA does not just affect toys--it regulates all products for children under 12. Clothing, school supplies, cloth diapers, car seats, boy scout patches, bicycles, sippy cups--everything.

Here is the deal... (copied from Charm City Craft Mafia)
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which will go into effect on February 10th, 2009, puts forth much more stringent safety measures for products intended for children under the age of 12. Under the very important auspices of child safety, the Act may have grave unintended consequences: fewer choices for families who are looking for handcrafted alternatives. Many of your favorite local artists and craftspeople have expressed fears that they won’t be able stay in business due to the burdensome cost of testing and certification pursuant to the proposed legislation. The Handmade Toy Alliance is urging Congress to rewrite the CPSIA so that toys made in batches of less than 5,000 units per year or manufactured within the USA and trusted countries with established toy safety regimes such as Canada and the European Union be held exempt from third party testing requirements. Such toys could still be subject to random auditing by the CPSC but they are also asking that if testing should still be required, the CPSC should be made to offer free testing services for USA toymakers and importers from Europe or Canada with revenues less than one million dollars.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of children's goods that have earned and kept the public's trust: Toys, clothes, and accessories made in the US, Canada, and Europe. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade children's products will no longer be legal in the US.

If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmers market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered.

Visit the Handmade Toy Alliance to learn more about the issues and how you can help by just sending a letter to your Representative or Senator. The Storque also has drafted an open letter regarding the CPSIA. As a venue for handcrafted and vintage items from small entrepreneurs, Etsy has invited the Ombudsman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to join the community in a webchat in their Virtual Lab.

11 comments:

vicki said...

Thanks Gretchen for a good article. Keep spreading the word. While we need to protect our children, the sad thing is that the only choice for parents will be products that are mass produced (i.e. from China) and there will be no unique, creative and/or quality to be found.

morninglight mama said...

Very interesting post-- I really hadn't thought about this legislation in the light of homemade toys before. I like the suggestions here for modifications to take small-businesses into account.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the word. I had no idea. This is bad news for local crafters when the problem with "scary" unregulated toys often turns out to be imports from other countries.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Gretchen for this article, I have sent my letters. Just think how many crafts shows will be effected by this. "Hand made" might become something of the past.
We need more "hand made" than factory. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marty said...

Sheesh!! The US government obviously has never heard of common sense!! I found your link via Tiny Happy-I'll be back!

taimarie said...

Thanks for posting about this, and leaving a comment about it on my blog. I have been following this, as it affects us in Canada too- it does seem crazy that small craftspeople should have to pay to have their toys tested, when many of them are in the business for the exact purpose of providing safe, local, handmade products in a market flooded with cheap unregulated toys.

Melissa said...

thank you gretchen, for writing about this! i haven't done so on my blog yet, but i will this evening. i just wanted to make sure i had the details sorted first.

Anonymous said...

So..... where is toilet? Hehe))) Joke, relax ;)
Hih you hear me??

Anonymous said...

So qrazy..
Mmm..

Later

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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