Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Voices Will Be Heard!!! Save Handmade Children's Items!!!

Okay so I've been sitting on this one for awhile. In August of 2008, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act or CPSIA. Haven't heard of it yet? I'm not suprised!! I hadn't either until reading a Custom Boutique Designer board and literally about falling out of my chair in disbelief!!

So you all know about all the toys that were lead tainted in 2007...Thomas the Train, Elmo, etc..... Well I do and I remember specifically going through the aisles in Wally World trying to find toys for my children that year that DID NOT come from China!! Try it and you will be suprised that it is nearly impossible to find American made toys anymore!! In response to the huge outcry from consumers that they be protected from China importing tainted toys. So Congress passed a law that states that all toys and products made for children under 12 years of age have to be tested for lead. Sounds great right!! Okay so here's the catch!! As the law is written and currently intepreted by many, it affects ALL children's products and is retroactive!!

Some relief has been given for secondhand stores but I think not enough to really make a difference as they still can be prosecuted if they would knowingly or unknowingly sell items that may contain lead without testing them. I still think that you will see some secondhand and thrift type stores closing.

As for new items and some at risk secondhand itmes, if the toys are not tested for lead by a third party...test which run anywhere from $100 to $4,000 per item, they will have to be thrown out and discarded. This also currently affects ALL childrens clothing, blankets, virtually anything made for a child! As the law was initially drafted, that means that all of your children's used clothing, toys, cribs, strollers, etc. will have to go to the city dump rather than to Goodwill or charity!!! There already is a landfill problem in this country can you imagine what it would be like filled with perfectly GOOD and USEABLE children's items!!! So you sell your children's items on E-Bay...well unless the committee that is reviewing this law makes some will be illegal after February 10th unless you get many of those items tested for lead!! Later in the year that will also include phalates (chemicals used in the production of plastics). I'm sure all of you with babies know about the drive to go back to glass bottles, silicone pacifiers, etc. I don't mind secondhand for my boys...if you have boys you completely understand why they absolutely need clothes that can get ripped, torn and dirty without breaking the checkbook!! With the recession in full tilt and a possible depression the the works...secondhandclothing will become a necessity, not just something us frugal mommas do!! If you don't by secondhand...please do not think that it will not pertain to you....testing will have to be done on your children's clothing that you buy in the retail stores as well, so the price of infant and children's clothing will increase to offset the cost of the testing!! Toy prices will increase and guess still will only see crappy toys from CHINA!!! Nothing will probably be American made anymore because most of the American made toy companys are small businesses like myself. like going to craft shows and buying handmade baby blankets, booties...etc. Well after February 10th...good luck!! Because those cute little pink and blue items infact any handmade item for a child under 12 will also be illegal. Right now they have only given exemptions to natural fibers such and wool and cotton that have not been dyed or treated!! So if you have ever seen the color of raw wool or cotton...think of handmade will look in the future!! It will be back to the 1800's!!! Guess my Benjamin Button blanket will be a big huge item now!!! Like handmade wooden toys...well after February 10th..they will not have any color, whatsoever unless the law changes!! Like handmade baby quilts with all those lovely patterns!! uhhm like cream covered blankets!! Those gorgeous baby quilts will be illegal after February 10th unless the law changes. Love those hand tied fleece blankets....they will be illegal after February 10th unless the law changes....are you getting my point!

Seriously, you can make a difference you can let Congress and your state representatives know that you are not happy about the law. You also can vote along with the handmade toy alliance on the site!! VOTE FOR HANDMADE!! Seriously I just voted today and this cause is in the top 10!! If you saw some of the ones above would see that this cause is far more important!!

The link for the law is here: CPSIA Information Page

Etsy Speaks About the Law

Changes sound like they are coming and voices are being heard!! It quite possibly could turn out that handmade items will be exempted...however it's still important that you vote and keep handmade items alive!! Hey also check out the idea about student loans being forgiven!! I also voted for that one too!! lol!!

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