Sunday, January 03, 2010

Handmade may be a thing of the past!

There is a ruling (CPSIA) from the CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commision) that would, in effect, make it cost prohibitive for crafters, such as me, to continue to sell handmade items for children.  I know of well established handmade craft websites that have already removed ALL their children's products. While the intent of the ruling is admirable, I feel it is a knee-jerk reaction to the influx of lead laden toys imported from China and other countries.  As a mother of 5 and grandmother of 3, I too am deeply concerned about the lead content of anything that is sold for children's use.  However, rather than penalize and effectively put millions of small business owners and entrepenuers out of buisiness, it seems that the more practical and efficient way to handle this is to require testing and certification of products and components at the factory and import stage. For instance, why should I have to spend hundreds of dollars to have a sweater tested because I use 3 buttons to close it?  Why not require the button manufacturer to certify the lead content?  Why should a wood toy maker need to spend hundreds of dollars to have his painted toys tested instead of requiring the paint manufacturer to certify the lead content.  We need more testing at the import level, not the garage or dining room table level.  This ruling will also effect thousands of libraries across the country because of the ink that was used years ago in printing the children's books.  They will need to either destroy these books ot clasify them as collectible, as I understand it.  Most of these books are classics that have gone out of print and may be lost to our children and future generations forever.  I hope I have that wrong, but from what I've read, that's what is going to happen.
You can help by visiting the Handmade Toy Alliance website at

You can also go here

Besides requiring expensive testing, the CPSC will also require expensive labeling and record keeping.  That means that the crafter who makes baby sweaters, like me, will not only have to pay for expensive testing but also will have to receive certificates from whoever she gets her supplies from certifying them lead free and keep a record of where each button, skein of yarn, spool of thread, etc. comes from. Again, I hope I've misunderstood this, but I don't think so.

Comment and let me know what you think!

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