Monday, December 8, 2008


i have been reading a lot about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and its mandates for lead and/or phthalate testing on children's products. it sounds like a lot of sellers of handmade children's products aren't clear on the specifics of the law, but from what i've read, this is what i'm processing:

if someone makes a toy, article of clothing, baby sling, etc. intended for a child under 12, then every part assembled to create that item must be tested for lead before it can be sold. they must be individual tests, after the product has been completed. AS IF IT IS THE SELLER'S ISSUE. were three shades of pink beads used on a toddler's barrette? each of them has to be tested. AND the barrette itself. and each of those tests will run approximately $180 each. if the toddler's six year old sister wants a green barrette instead of the pink one you'd made for the toddler, well, you need to retest everything, because those beads were a totally different color. EVEN IF THEY WERE ALREADY TESTED BEFORE YOU BOUGHT THEM.

and if you wanted to stop right there and never sell a barrette again, it would only set you back about a thousand dollars, i'm noticing. or, you could just become a one-person sweatshop and manufacture enough identical barrettes for the testing to pay for itself.

as interpreted, i cannot sell children's jewelry anymore, without this mess of testing, which i'll gladly avoid. i'm not a mass producer and don't intend to become one.

it's ridiculous. and it passed overwhelmingly in the house and the senate, most likely because it wasn't fully read or understood when it passed. i don't know the reasons. it will be a burden for multi-employee apparel and toy companies as well, and some are reportedly giving up on selling anything in the USA anymore.

and for those 10 people in the house and senate who didn't vote on this bill, thank you, whoever you are (i don't know!)...and i hope this issue isn't twisted into some crazy campaign ad that says, "he was the only senator who voted AGAINST lead testing for children's blankies!" because seriously, this is deeper than that - it will impact so many entrepreneurs who just LIKE TO MAKE THINGS and are already safe about it, and in turn, will impact creativity and choices. i sure hope i am reading all of this wrong.

fashion incubator forum posters interpret that this law also means there will be no more children's clothing resale. it would be illegal to sell something that has not been tested.

national bankruptcy day, as it is referred to by creative insiders, is february 10. 2009. the link above will take you to a site with more links, so if you're concerned, you can write a little bit about how you feel and hope that it is heard in washington.

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