Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Unintended Consequences of CPSIA

As parents and concerned citizens, I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association, Businessweek and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.
To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.
What can you do?
Contact the CPSC at the link listed above.
Contact your local representatives.

Change can only be made when you make it happen.


Just another day in paradise said...

Thanks for joining in the CPSIA blog-a-thon to get the word out!

myminimocs said...

excellent blog Holly - thank you for sharing it with all of us!!!

New England Quilter said...

Well said - I hope that our leaders will take the time and effort to reconsider what they have done!

ElegantSnobbery said...


Excellent post, Holly and thanks for putting this information for all of us!!

I will be 100% gutted if Winklepots has to close as a result of this BOGUS law. You know I'm your #1 fan!

Kayce said...

I hope you don't mind, but I've used part of your post on mine - it'll be up later today. If it's a problem, let me know and I'll remove it.

Thanks for a great post!

Winklepots said...

Feel free, Kayce. The more people who see it, the better. Thanks for helping to spread the word.

panda with cookie said...

Thanks for blogging and spreading the word!

K Bella Bambino said...

Holly, thanks for all you have done!

Wendy Romero/Bobs and Bits said...

So it seems that you are the author of this eloquent post? So glad you did this -- I took your words, word for word, & posted it to my blog. Thanks so much.

Winklepots said...

Thanks for helping to spread the word, Wendy. I co-authored this with ChichiBoulie. She's the driving force behind the blog-in. :o)

Artsiegirl said...

Thanks so much to you & ChichiBoulie for this well-written blog. Let's hope we can make a difference sooner rather than later!

The Fab Miss B said...

I hope this brings about amendments to this law. Good work all.

Nancy said...

I hope this helps bring about some changes to this ridiculous law!

SoBella Creations said...

Thanks for working on the blog in with chichiboulie. I hope we have some effect on the out come of this new Law.

Jenn/PrettyinPosies said...

thank you so much for writing this and sharing it! fabulous idea!! i wasn't sure who wrote it, i will have to back in and edit my post and credit you both. :)

curlymonkeyandco said...

We're all holding our breath!

Christiana said...

Thank you for your kind comment.

Your clothes are quite fantastic - I think my nephew basically requires a tattoo tee...

rachel said...


Diana said...

Thanks for providing this post and for stopping by my blog. And hey, I didn't realize you were a fellow Oregonian-- cool!

Sophie's Mommie said...

I hope it is ok I used your words with credit on my blog as well. So very well put
Thank you

Linda said...

I will repeat what others stated.. Thank you for writing such a fabulous post and allowing us to use it on our blogs. I have been very frustrated by trying to clearly communicate this issue... you and Chichiboulie made it easy to participate in the blog-in.

Pamela Susan said...

Thanks for visiting my blog...I'm crossing my fingers and toes...

Pamela Susan said...

And thank you for allowing us to copy and paste the information!

Elle Mac ~ GreenMamba said...

Very excellent article. You covered all the important points and accurately conveyed the alarming and widespread consequences that will be the fallout of this law if it goes into effect as written.


Rhonda said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I am a limited seller of vintage table cloths and pillow cases and this whole CPSIA ruling makes me crazy.

The whole SNOPES link that my commenter left also bothered me...oh well, thanks again for stopping in and hopefully there will be some positive rulings soon for all the homemade communities and crafters out there.

Ari said...

I just wanted to add one more action item to your wonderful post.

Today JAN 30 is the deadline for comments to CPSC on allowing crafters to use safe materials instead of testing.

Moms Rising put up a super-easy action link. Here it is. Click Here to Send a Letter to CPSC

It's quick and easy. Please forward it to all your friends.


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