Handmade Hooray: A CPSIA Victory!comments (6) February 3rd, 2009
Has the CHA addressed how the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement
Act which takes effect on February 10th of this year will affect the
millions of crafters who sell their items???? I just learned of this
law today on another forum and was appalled by the overreaching scope
It says in effect:
"The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger—including clothing—be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven't been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead."
This law is going to hit thrift stores, resale shops, and presumably crafters who want to sell children's items they have made.
Last week brought some fantastic news for the handmade community, especially those who make and sell clothes, toys, and other products for children: certain sections of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which had been scheduled to become law in mid-February, were delayed until 2010. Instead of requiring any and every children's product, handmade or manufactured, to be tested for lead and other toxins, this section of the law was delayed—so costly and time-consuming testing that easily could have put both crafters and the stores that carry their work out of business, effective immediately, won't be required while the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reviews the law. However, the stay of enforcement "offers no relief from the new lead and phthalates limits themselves that will still take effect on that same date," giving the industry tougher standards to protect children from toxins.
The Craft and Hobby Association (CHA), whose convention CraftStylish visited last month, put out their own encouraging and thoughtful report on the law, too. I wanted to share part of the official update from the Craft and Hobby Association's CEO, Steven Berger:
CHA submitted a letter to the CPSC addressing the specific issue of third-party component testing and offered to participate with the Commission in a broader dialogue concerning the safety of craft and hobby products.
The CHA Board of Directors voted to organize an ongoing task force devoted to the sole issue of the CPSIA legislation. CHA is now identifying and selecting member participants.
This week, Steve Berger contacted the office of Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and confirmed the Senator's plans to propose a bill, designed to minimize the effect of the CPSIA on small business. CHA is establishing a system whereby members can submit specific business challenges and information needs as they pertain to the CPSIA. Watch for further information on this in the near future.
This is an important topic for our industry, and members must remain vigilant to the emerging legislation. Following establishment of the CPSIA Task Force, CHA will continue to update members about related legislative action and implications.
So, from individual crafters to the largest industry group in America, people's voices have been heard and handmade children's products have been exempted from a broadly written law—a wonderful victory! For more on this, check out Matt and Vanessa's original announcement post at Etsy and their follow-up from Senator DeMint, urging crafters to contact their senators as well.
So, while this is great news for our handmade community, we still need to make sure that the changes are made and the law is rewritten to protect secondhand, vintage and handmade products, while targeting dangerous chemicals in mass-produced items. Please consider calling your senator to urge him or her to join Senator DeMint in the effort!