Thursday, 15 January 2009

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)

The CPSIA is a `major topic of discussion amoung artists, crafters, and anyone who cares about children. However, in over exuberance a very poorly written, thoughtless, and outright detrimental piece of legislation is about to be foisted off onto the public, and those who serve the childrens market.

Although the principal is nobal; don't allow corporations, particularly 3rd, world sell toxic products to us for our children. As too often has been the case in the past the legislation addresses a vary narrow segment of the manufacture industry and disregards the effects on the US small businesses that are as a whole providing a much safer product than the corporations who manufacture products that will be used by youth.

As consumers it is reasonable for us to be able to assume the products we are offered are safe but historically that simply isn't the case. It is up to each of us to look carefully at the things we are considering purchasing and use common sense and research to make the determination of what is likely to be safe and most likely to not be. Although it is another blanket statement, Any form of base metal, whether a charm, button, bead or toy is as likely to contain lead or any of a number of other toxic metals. Even copper, assumed to be fine really isn't. Exposure to most metals is harmful to the human body. So before you buy anything think twice about where it iwas made and what types of controls, and inspections were likely to be employed by the manufacturer.

As a parent with serious allergies and daughters with worse allergies, some things such as flame retardant sleepwear were instant rashes for my kids and thus could not be worn. As a seamstress this meant sewing for them myself, or never putting them in 'sleep wear' Fine if you are a seamstress, but what if your not? The law as it is set to go into effect, doesn't address anything but lead, and thus is too limited in it's scope in that department. However, it looks for lead in places so far reaching it is highly unlikely to exist there, such as in used clothing!. This is horridly written legislation and needs to be returned to the drawing board to be redrawn to address the actual problem at hand and not to simply be able to say something was done, but to actually DO something that is helpful, and addresses the problem.

Here is a link to an artist who is trying to make a positive difference and put the brakes on destroying, more of the US economy and most importantly our freedom to make conscious choices about what our children are exposed to. Please check it out and participate in forcing the legislature to create an effective program, rather than a reactive one.

"The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is requiring lead testing on all products (including apparel and components of apparel which knowingly have little or no lead such as ribbon, tulle, thread, elastic etc.) designed for children under the age of 12. “This new Act is unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, and disregards the significant and disastrous impact on small and medium businesses as Section 605 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires” says Michael Kushner, of The Kushner Law Firm."