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Save Second-Hand and Hand-Made Kids' Clothing and Toys

Save Second-Hand and Hand-Made Kids' Clothing and Toys
Category: Safety and Regulations
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Rallying customers, fellow consignment shops, and local handmade crafters to modify the CPSIA. Handmade toys and clothing also at risk.


It's been a busy day answering emails, phone calls, and distributing our flyer to our local businesses and families here in Boonsboro. By the way, feel free to copy and distribute it far and wide to help us get the word out.

Thank you to all of you that have forwarded the email I sent last night. Please keep spreading the word and directing people to do contact their representatives. Only Congress can make the change we need, according to the CPSC.

I also want to thank Blaine Young, from WFMD for allowing me to speak on the issue live on the radio. I was fortunate enough to be the first caller to introduce a topic and after I hung up, the calls flooded the radio station and the entire rest of the show discussed just the CPSIA! Then, immediately after the Blaine Young show, Glenn Beck spent a half hour on the subject. Read a transcript here. The Frederick News Post will be printed a story today (1/9) so be sure to check it out and add your comments! Also, NBC 25 out of Hagerstown, MD will be doing a story.

So, we've made some in-roads. But the work isn't done.

The CPSC issued a press release today. Heralded as the end of the resale industries troubles it is nothing of the sort. All it does is restate the law:

  • Items made before November 2008 are not required to be tested as per the law, hence the CPSC reiterates that resale stores are not responsible for testing.
  • However, those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.

So we don't have to test, but to be sure we don't open ourselves up to civil and/or criminal penalties I either don't sell anything that I don't have a GCC for or I have to test it myself.

I feel insulted that the CPSC even bothered to issue that press release.

So the the CPSC has not heard the end of this issue from the resale industry and our Congressmen and Senators haven't either. Please keep on them about this important issue as it affects all of us with children, not just the resale industry. Click on the links in this paragraph for contact information.

What needs to be done:

  • Reverse the Falvey Opinion that interprets the law with respect to lead is retroactive. Even once we get passed 2/10, the legal lead limit is lowered to 300 ppm in August, 2009 and to 100 ppm in August, 2011, so each time the stuff legally made right before the deadline will be illegal afterwards unless the "retroactivity" is reversed. And since GCC's aren't required to specify the amount of lead (if any) in the product, this chaos will return again as retailers won't have any idea if the products on their shelves meet the next lower standard.
  • The CPSC needs to take responsibility for recalling products before we can be liable for selling or reselling them.

Barring a reversal of the Falvey Opinion, my next best solution is for the CPSC to officially recall every child's item made before November, 2008. Thay way retailers and consumers with all this toxic stuff can turn it in to the manufacturer for full retail credit!

Save the Handmade Industry, too!

I also want to touch on the effect this law has on the handmade industry, too. See the Handmade Toy Alliance website for a more detailed discussion. This law affects everyone who makes quality products for children, from Grandma quilting baby blankets for the church auction, to Mom who makes her own cloth diapers and in turns it into a business selling on eBay and more!

See a great 3 minute YouTube video here.

Have you ever made hairbows from material you got at the local craft store? Well, whether or not the materials were tested by the manufacturer (they may not have been required since "ribbon" by itself isn't necessarily for kids under 12), you'd be responsible for testing every component before you could legally sell it.

I have beautiful handmade hairbows and barrettes made by a local mom. Come February 10, I'm going to have to give them back to her because I won't be allowed to sell them. If the Falvey Opinion is reversed, then my current stock is fine, but that doesn't solve the problem for the future as she'll be required to test all new products she makes.

It's crazy expensive to do the testing. Right now, the law allows manufacturers to do their own testing by unspecified means.

One way is with a "soluable test" - it basically desolves the item (destroying it, of course) and the lab will tell you how much lead was in it. Another acceptable means (only until August, 2009) is via XRF testing. It's basically an x-ray machine that will tell you after a few minutes of internal calculating how much lead is in the part you shot the x-rays at.

Nevermind the cancer risk to the operator who is verifying the many items they make: we're talking about children's safety in this law, not cancer from excess x-ray exposure.

After August, 2009, third party testing is required by an accredited lab. Luckily, here in Frederick, MD, is the American Association For Laboratory Accreditation, which recently issued a press release announcing it's proud role in accepting applications for labs wishing to be accredited. (If you'd like to find out how to be accredited and take advantage of this booming new industry, email Adam Gouker.)

Estimates for the cost of doing third parting testing is $50 to $4000 per component, with an average of $500, per batch. Take a cloth diaper with 3 components (liner, cover, and velcro): that's $1500, oh, wait, there's the thread, too: $2000. Get a new bolt of materials and you need to test again. Want to offer cloth diapers in different colors and sizes: test for each difference.

And their are currently only 19 labs in the US that are accredited. See the whole list here.


New Administration to Urge for Delay in Digital TV Transition

Now while the CPSIA law passed in August of 2008 with much of the unintended effects not being known until December (I just found out on Jan 2), the entire children's industry is supposed to be held accountable to this new law in just a few short weeks.

However, the Digital TV Transition scheduled for February 17, 2009 and planned since at least 2005 (that's 4 years!) may be delayed because the $1.34 BILLION dollars appropriated by Congress to help poor and rural Americans get free converter boxes was not enough.

Read the AP story here. It says that Congress will have to pass a bill to authorize the delay since they originally passed the law requiring the transition.

Ok, so 4 years and $1.34 BILLION dollars, plus funding for commercials notifying everyone of the change isn't enough, but 6 months and $0 dollars to manufacturers, retailers, and resellers, and no public campaign to disseminate information on this law that will affect everyone with children or who work in the children's industry if fine?

Give me a break!

Please continue to vote for change and contact Congress, the media, and your friends about this important issue. Feel free to link to my blog, too! (Read my previous post below for more information.) Congress and Media, feel free to phone me at 240-674-1859. Other inquiries, contact us.

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