Tuesday, January 6, 2009

National Bankruptcy Day

Nope, it's not a Joke or even one of my super catchy titles ;) That is the name that has been attached to February 10, 2009.
Here is the actual law (section 101 is the one I am referencing)
Here are some FAQ's from the Toy Industry Association.

All children's items will be affected by this new law. I'm talking everything from diapers to books including clothing and yes, hair accessories. Blankets, wood cars, bottles... absolutely everything. This is for children under 12 and a simple "not intended for children under 12" will not suffice. Any product that would be reasonably considered to be used by children under 12 must fit the standards.

The CPSIA requires ALL children's items to be tested by the final creator of the item for lead. I don't manufacture ribbon or clips, hot glue or thread. I don't even manufacture my own bottlecaps :P However, since I assemble these items into something that could reasonably considered children's items, I am the one who has to handle the lead testing. Not just any testing will do. Labs have to be certified by the US Government to do this testing. (As an aside: the lead alarms that lead up to this law were entirely foreign based, yet at least half of the labs approved to do this testing are foreign. Does that make anyone else giggle?)

Every individual batch has to be tested (every roll of ribbon, pack of hot glue sticks, spool of thread... etc. is a separate batch) and the estimated cost is around $2,000 to $4,000 per test. Also, the labs are not interested in testing for small businesses. So, if I wanted to up my thread cost from $1.50 to $2,001.50 I would probably still have a hard time getting it in for testing. Not to mention the fact that the thread will be destroyed in the testing process.... Do you see a problem here?

Basically, the cost will be a minor annoyance for huge companies. For anyone smaller than the mega toy, clothing, etc. companies that churn out millions of products, this is a death knell.

Here is another write up on the CPSIA on www.change.org. You can vote for up to 10 items on this site. The top 10 issues will be brought to the Obama administration on January 16th for his consideration. Currently the CPSIA is in position #8.

As it stands, the future is bleak in the boutique, handmade, specialty or custom items world. We will let the huge corporations (who created the problem) take over the industry completely while the stay at home or work at home mothers (to mention a portion of the people affected by this law) all lose their employ and either have to enter the already saturated workforce, leaving their children at home or in daycare, or apply for assistance from the government.

I have done extensive research on lead poisoning: where does it come from? is it common? how could this affect my children? etc. I may post my lead "essay" as another post if anyone is interested. Just comment and ask for it and I'll post it. I was certainly surprised by some of my findings. Let me put it this way: I didn't feel any greater need for this law after my research.

My Opinion: (yes, people are allowed to disagree with my opinion, that's why I call it "My Opinion".) Require all goods imported or manufactured in the USA to stay within lead limitations. One case of lead poisoning was in a child mouthing a cheap imported decorative keyring which contained excessive lead. A keyring, from what I understand, would not be considered a children's item, and would not be subject to this law at all! Meaning that this law would not have saved that child. Why not just plain limit the lead used in manufacturing? Period. Children are most susceptible to lead, and more likely to ingest it, but that doesn't mean it's good for adults! If lead is not allowed in products manufactured in the USA and any products being imported into the USA are required to include a certificate stating that the products have been tested and do not contain lead in excess of the standards, don't you think that would do the trick? It may increase costs slightly, but these manufacturers are already producing huge batches at once so the cost difference would be minimal. (Consider this: testing one batch that will produce 1 million products. If the test costs $4,000 that still leaves the cost increase per products at 4 tenths of a cent.) Test those batches so that if you buy ribbon, yarn, bottlecaps, fabric... anything in the USA you have the comfort of knowing it is safe. Isn't that supposed to be the point anyway?


nora.lakehurst said...

How stupid. GAH I am so sorry Janelle. I wish (whew almost swore with wrongful fingers) that they would let us be normal for peet sakes.

ems said...

GRRRRR! If I hear about 1 more STUPID thing that our government is doing I think I am going to go ballistic!! I guess you'd better make sure you are not around me the next time I hear something stupid that the government has decided to do. :) Oh well, I guess these are all signs that it is the last days!! Maybe that means that Christ will be coming soon. We can always hope right?

Tilly's Bowtique said...

Okay, my comment didn't post... but yeah, I'm really getting tired of it. I'm going to take my work in the direction of instruction books and tutorials. That way I'm not making anything that is intended for children. But I think it's funny that my previous post has pictures of my daughters cuddling with monkeys that will soon be classified as Banned Hazardous Substances :P

Stacey said...

I've always said sock monkeys were evil. ;) BTW..(and there is no way to say this without it sounding weird) Camden's monkey got a hole ripped in the crotch. I dunno who did it because my kids are angels. :P

That really bites! I'm sorry you can't sell your cute stuff. I am tired of all the government controlled things too. GRR!

Tilly's Bowtique said...

OOooooo! Next time I come see you guys I'll bring a needle and thread and perform a little monkey surgery :) That's crazy, though, my girls are pretty rough with theirs and so far ,so good. Probably a defective sock ;) lol