As a mom who works at home sewing items for children and a mom who loves to buy handmade items for her children, I’ve been following closely news of the CPSIA and how the Consumer Products Safety Commission interprets and plans to implement it. I think many Americans, though, are unaware of what these new regulations are going to mean to our small businesses and our nation’s economy.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) will affect everything that we purchase for our children. This new law was passed in August 2008 and goes into effect February 10, 2009. One of new requirements of the law is third party lead testing for every item that is manufactured for children ages 12 and under. That sounds great when you first read it, especially given the recent recalls of plastic toys with dangerous lead levels that were manufactured in China and sold to our nation’s children. This new law, however, is going to have some very sad results.
The law requires that one of each item that is manufactured be tested. For large toy manufacturers, this will be an inconvenience. It will likely raise the prices of the toys that we purchase at Walmart and Target. For small businesses and WAHMs (work-at-home-moms) who create one-of-a-kind or even a dozen-of-a-kind handcrafted items, this new law means closing up shop. The expense of having each item tested would make the cost of the end item to the purchaser ridiculously high.
I just received an email from one the homeschool resource companies that we’ve purchased CDs from in the past. It includes a link to their liquidation sale and says in part, “We don’t want to do this… We don’t like doing this… But it looks like we have no choice. Hopefully this will be a real blessing to you, even though it is a very real hardship for us and many others. Go ahead and take advantage of it if you can, so we at least won’t have to take a government-mandated trip to the landfill to dump our business there.” It makes me so sad to see hard-working people lose so much, so quickly.
Many parents and small businesses are asking Congress to change or make exceptions to the law to save our country’s small businesses. If you feel moved to get involved, contact your congressman or check out these sites for more information and other ways you can help:
The Handmade Toy Alliance:
National Bankruptcy Day Site:
CPSIA Mail-in Protest
Read Etsy’s Open Letter to the CPSIA for more info: Handmade Children’s Items & Unintended Consequences: Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
The CPSC’s website where you can find the new law in it’s entirety:
All the items pictured on this post were created by moms and dads who work at home handcrafting items for children. In just a few weeks, each of these items will be considered a “banned hazardous product”.