Saturday, January 24, 2009

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Okay, this isn't going to make you laugh and it isn't a sensational  read, but I think it is something that you should know about. I don't usually get into politics on my blog, but this is something that will affect us all.  So, I thought I would at least put it on my blog to help inform each of you and then you can decide if you want to act on it.

I first heard about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act about a month ago.  Then a few weeks ago Charlene at Bring On The Rain provided me with even more information that  caused me to take another look at this act.

In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsourced their production to China (emphasis mine) and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys containing dangerously high lead content, unsafe small parts, and chemicals that made kids sick.
The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in children's products, mandates third party testing and certification, and requires manufacturers of all goods for children under the age of 12, to permanently label each item with a date and batch number.


Anyone who produces or sells any of the following new or used items will be required to comply with the law: toys, books, clothing, art, educational supplies, materials for the learning disabled, bicycles, and more. Any uncertified item intended for children under the age of 12 will be considered contraband after February 10, 2009. It will be illegal to sell or give these items away to charities, and the government will require their destruction or permanent disposal, resulting in millions of tons of unnecessary waste, and placing an enormous strain on our landfills.

(source: written by Cecilia Leibovitz)

This idea is good in theory, we want to protect our children from dangerous products.  However, it will be the small businesses here in America that will be hardest hit.  To comply with the testing recommended it could cost up to $4,000 per item tested.  All the mom businesses out there that we all love...gone.  Who can afford to have each item tested for lead.  I know I can't.  Thrift shops, Etsy (all those cute handmade items for babies and children that  we love),  E-bay, book sellers, second-hand home school items, the list goes on, all these will be affected by the Act.  Not to mention what it will do to our already suffering economy.  Think about it, how many of us know people who own small businesses that will greatly suffer from this.

So, what can we do?

There are several options

  1. Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at 888-531-9070.
  2. Contact your local representatives. For their contact information, just enter your zip code.
  3. Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.
  4. Sign the petition.

Thanks Charlene for finding all these sources! If you would like to pass this on you are welcome to copy this and put it on your blog.  I know that checking out all these links will take time, but please, Let your voices be heard.


  1. Pebbles would lick and chew on all her toys a while back and most of them were fisher-price and made in China. And I had her lead level checked at the Dr's office and it was just fine.
    And being a small business owner we know how something like this can ruin it for good people trying to make a living.
    I'll check it out when I get a chance...Thanks Jenn.

  2. Hey Jenn, I don't have this info anymore, but I read in my quilt design forum that fabric would be excluded. I wish I had kept that information. I'm not sure of the source or if it's legitimate but if so maybe a few of the mom shops will be saved!

  3. You're welcome! I do think this act is coming at such a bad time with the economy and everything! It's also weird how they're forcing this law on American products as well and not from other countries where the lead has been coming from. It's also weird that we cannot give anything away to charity. I have to swap kids clothes with my sister in private I guess! I'll read up on more updates & post about it soon!!


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