The CPSIA: get informed, get involved!

Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008

As the EtsyKids Founder and Team Leader, I am deeply concerned about the CPSIA (Consumer Products Safety Information Act), and the effect it will have on our members and team as a whole. And not only is this issue near and dear to my heart (being both a mom and a maker of products for children myself), it will affect anyone who makes, sells, or buys products for children in the US.

The US Congress passed the CPSIA, and August 14th, 2008 President Bush signed the Act into law. This Act, which will go into effect on February 10th, 2009, puts much stricter safety regulations on products intended for the use of children ages 12 and under. While the intentions behind the law are undoubtedly good, there are some major problems with this law as it is currently written.

I am not going to claim to understand or try to explain all of the ins and outs of the CPSIA, as it is a very broad and complex law. It's crucial that everyone (and I do mean everyone) do their research, and make sure you are informed on the CPSIA, and how it will affect not just yourself, but other people that you know. Make products for children? This law will affect you. Sell products for children? This law will affect you. Have children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends with children? This law will affect you. Shop at stores that sell products for children? This law will affect you.

I have had many discussions with various people about the CPSIA, and I have not had one person question the fact that measures should be taken to insure the safety of our children. The CPSIA imposes some strict new regulations on testing for lead and phthalates, which are both nasty substances that should certainly not be in products intended for children, or anyone for that matter. No one I have spoken with is opposed to the testing itself, but rather the manner in which the testing be done, and the expense of it, which could cause many small businesses and independent designers and craftspeople to go out of business. If amendmants are not made to this law before February 10th, 2009, sadly this may be the case. I urge everyone to contact their government officials and local media about this well-intenioned but poorly-thought-out law.

Please see this article on Etsy for an open letter regarding the CPSIA: http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/handmade-childrens-items-unintended-consequences-consumer-pr-3056/

If you would like to read the actual law, it can be found here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpsia.pdf
FAQ from the CPSC website is located here: http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/faq/faq.html
Wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Protection_Safety_Improvement_Act

1 comment:

helan said...

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Barbara

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