I'm writing about this HUGE issue looming in the very near future, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). It was quietly passed into law this past summer, and will go into effect February 10, 2009, a date dubbed "National Bankruptcy Day". This law, as written, is as vague as can be, and has the potential to take down hundreds and thousands of small and home-based businesses all over the country. In a time of such fragile economic times, this is one of the worst things that could happen; I can practically hear the sound of families' hopes and dreams across America being virtually flushed down the toilet by this law.
A clarification was released on, I believe, January 8th, that claimed to exempt resellers (thrift shops, consignment, and again, all the homebased resellers--homeschoolers make up a HUGE market of book/school supplies/used clothing/etc buyers and sellers). As written:
CPSC Clarifies Requirements of New Children's Product Safety Laws
Taking Effect in February
Guidance Intended for Resellers of Children's Products, Thrift and
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In February 2009, new requirements of the Consumer
Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) take effect. Manufacturers, importers and retailers are expected to comply with the new Congressionally-mandated laws. Beginning February 10, 2009, children's products cannot be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) total lead. Certain children's products
manufactured on or after February 10, 2009 cannot be sold if they contain more that 0.1% of certain specific phthalates or if they fail to meet new mandatory standards for toys.
Under the new law, children's products with more than 600 ppm total lead cannot lawfully be sold in the United States on or after February 10, 2009, even if they were manufactured before that date. The total lead limit drops to 300 ppm on August 14, 2009.
The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children's products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children's products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not
required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.
The new safety law does not require resellers to test children's products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children's products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are
likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.
As I wrote in response to someone on an email loop I'm with:
Here's the problem with the update, I put stars before and after the section that is still much to vague:
The new safety law does not require resellers to test children's products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold.
*****However, resellers cannot sell children's products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits
could face civil and/or criminal penalties.***********
So, in one paragraph, they exempt resellers and then go ahead and say they can still be responsible. There are entirely too many producst covered by this law, plus the lowered lead levels which many many producst WILL NOT COMPLY with that are at resale stores, people's personal resales etc.
There have been many calls placed to all forms of government, tv, radio, newspaper, and internet agencies; yet we've yet to see this as a "big" story. There is the beginning of a class action lawsuit being started to attempt to stop the law from rolling into effect. Of course lead laws need to be changed regarding childrens' products--and allowing China to get away with all they have is insanity; this, however, is going after the heart and soul of the USA. This is so potentially devastating to our nation. Contact your news teams, newspapers, congressmen, senators...here's some contact information given by one of the owners of Hands of A Child (thanks Kimm)
Contact your congressperson here: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
Contact your senator here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Contact the media here:FOX email: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,77538,00.htmlPhone: 1-888-369-4762
CNN email: http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/Phone: 404-827-1500
MSNBC email: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18616878/Phone: 212-664-4444
CNBC email: email@example.comPhone: 201-735-2622
ABC email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 212-456-7777
CBS email: http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.phpPhone: 212-975-4321
PBS - The News Hour with Jim Lehrer: email@example.comPhone: 703-739-5000