Last year, we all read the news stories in horror as week after week, new children's toys were discovered to have dangerous levels of lead in them. As a parent of 3 young children, I was appropriately concerned, and I have started looking more closely at labels when I purchase toys - those made in China are low on my wish list! In response to the outrage, our Congress took action - too much action! In August, they passed the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, which is set to go into effect on February 10, 2009.
In essence, this law will mandate lead and phthalate testing of all products sold in the U.S. for children under the age of 12 - clothing, toys, etc. Both manufacturers and retailers will be held responsible for ensuring this is done. For the large manufacturers and retailers, this won't be a big problem.
But imagine the stay at home mom who makes unique baby gifts and sells them on etsy.com to help support her family. Or the small family-owned business who specializes in handmade, wooden toys. Or the three moms who went into business together making a unique line of boutique-style children's clothing. Can they afford the $4000 testing per item to comply with this new law? Were any of these businesses the ones who violated the public's trust in the first place? Has there ever been a problem with lead or other safety issues with any of these types of businesses? No!
And yet, these will be the very businesses who are put OUT of business by this new law.
Additionally - think about the thrift stores who sell children's clothing, furniture, and toys. They will be required to prove the products have been tested or forced to turn the donations away - can you imagine the HUGE increase in valuable products being sent to our landfills? And what about the already struggling families who rely on these thrift stores to be able to purchase low-cost clothing for their children?
Clearly our legislators did not take any of this into account when they enacted this law. Clearly they need to hear from US about how this is going to affect all of us.
Go here to find out who YOUR legislators are and contact them IMMEDIATELY to let them know that you want this law amended before it takes effect!!!
Here is another post on the issue.