CPSIA, One Small Child, and You

CPSIA - One Small Child
CPSIA - One Small Child

Have you have heard of the CPSIA legislation passed in August of 2008? We’ve been watching things develop for a couple months now, and frankly, it has taken a massive amount of time and brain power to educate ourselves on this issue and come up with a plan of action.

As this ultra-complex and vaguely written law currently applies to our company, in mid-February, we are required to provide proof of reasonable testing for lead levels in all products. In mid-August, allowable lead levels drop and mandatory third-party lab testing is required, the astronomical costs of which mean that for all intents and purposes, we are out of business, as is any company or individual not mass-producing products. Failure to comply is a felony, with possible six-digit fines.

My intention with this post is to let you know three things:

1-We do have a plan. We will be able to issue XRF certification on our products (by request) after the February deadline. After August, well, we just don’t know for sure. So much depends on what happens in the next few weeks and months.

2-The CPSIA will most definitely affect everyone in our country. Do you like to shop? This law will drastically affect the pricing and selection of your shopping in every retail venue carrying children’s products–that is, every retail venue that is still open for business. (Anyone notice the toy aisle at Walmart is looking nice and spacious, and there are a lot of toys on sale? That’s how it looks at my local store…it’s not an accident.) Do you or does the company you work for receive income from individuals? Thousands of work-at-home moms and unemployed retail, office, design, fulfillment, and production people will no longer have incomes to spend with you. It all trickles down.

3-You can do something about this. Call, snail-mail and e-mail your Congressmen and Senators’ D.C. offices to let them know: implementation of the CPSIA must be put on hold until the legislation can be amended or completely re-worked. That’s a tall order when most Congress members believe they’ve scored big points for keeping kids safe with the original law, but the real point is this: our industries can change and improve product safety standards without destroying an already faltering economy with this oppressive law, it’s been done before–think flammability standards and the CPSC recall system. (BTW, the CPSC’s hands are tied on this one…they must interpret and enforce the law as written, flaws and all, to the highest standard possible, or they’re held legally accountable.)

Feel free to leave a comment for me if you have any questions, I’ll answer as best I can, or point you to someone who can better elaborate. Please know that your child’s safety is a priority to us. And for the record, we’d like to be able to continue to make it that way.

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