Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do You Know??? CPSIA



(you can get this cute design here)


Did I get your attention? If not, please read on.
As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another has been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you and people like me? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all. Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand made baby quilt you bought your baby this past winter won’t be available next winter.




To the Supporters of Project Linus and other Charities that Donate Handmade Items:
Project Linus is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that donates handmade blankets as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children and provides a tremendous service opportunity for members of our community for the benefit of children. Why would ANY act of government want to stop the good work that we are doing? Unfortunately the way the Act is worded, the term "distribute" is used, which could include any item made and GIVEN or SOLD to a child under 12 years old. At this time, it is not known how or if it will impact Project Linus and other charitable organizations but the CPSIA needs clarification with regard to charities. The reality is that if the law is not clarified to exclude charitable organizations, or to define certain terms regarding “distribution” and remove the potential liability to organizations such as Project Linus, we will have no choice but to dissolve our beloved organization.


To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.
To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.
To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.



My Shop


To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.


If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes.
http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html


And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law.
http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

To locate the contact information for your congress person go to https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

To locate the contact information for your US Senator go to http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Here are some additional contacts:

Contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission - (301)-504-7923

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 4330 East West HighwayBethesda, MD 20814



Contact the House Energy and Commerce Committee - (202)-225-29272125
Rayburn House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515

You are welcome to contact the personal offices of anyone on the following list, who are the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. There is not room here to post addresses, but a google search will give you their snail mail addresses.

Henry A. Waxman, CA , Chair
John Dingell, MI, Chair Emeritus
Joe Barton, TX Ranking Member
Edward Markey, MA
Rick Boucher, VA
Frank Pallone, Jr., NJ
Bart Gordon, TN
Bobby Rush, IL
Anna Eshoo, CA
Bart Stupak, MI
Eliot Engel, NY
Gene Green, TX
Diana DeGette, CO
Lois Capps, CA
Michael Doyle, PA
Jane Harman, CA
Janice Schakowsky, IL
Charles Gonzales, TX
Jay Inslee, WA
Tammy Baldwin, WI
Mike Ross, AR
Anthony Weiner, NY
Jim Matheson, UT
G.K. Butterfield, NC
Charlie Melancon, LA
John Barrow, GA
Baron Hill, IN
Doris Matsui, CA
Donna Christensen, VA
Kathy Castor, FL
John Sarbanes, MD
Christopher Murphy, CT
Zachary Space, OH
Jerry McNerney, CA
Betty Sutton, OH
Bruce Braley, IA
Peter Welch, VT
Ralph Hall, TX
Fred Upton, MI
Cliff Stearns, FL
Nathan Deal, GA
Ed Whitfield, KY
John Shimkus, IL
John Shadegg, AZ
Roy Blunt, MO
Steve Buyer, IN
George Radanovich, CA
Joseph Pitts, PA
Mary Bono Mack, CA
Greg Walden, OR
Lee Terry, NE
Mike Rogers, MI
Sue Wilkins Myrick, NC
John Sullivan, OK
Tim Murphy, PA
Michael Burgess, TX
Marsha Blackburn, TN
Phil Gingrey, GA


3 comments:

sandi said...

hi becky,  this was really informative but i'm not really sure of what to do.  i'm not throwing away the plaque you made me.  it's still on my kitchen wall..   later,  sandi

piecemealquilts said...

I agree that the CPSIA is a serious problem, especially as it affects small businesses and crafters who sell their creations. However, there is some incorrect information in your post regarding items already on the shelves in regular stores and used products in thrift and resale shops. I sent a letter to my Congressman and this is part of his response:

"The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children's products made after February 10 meet all new safety standards, including the lead ban. However, 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. Further, 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."

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