Sunday, December 21, 2008

Handmade Children's Products Endangered by CPSIA

As the mother of two small children, I am pleased to see that actions are taken to ensure our children’s safety when it comes to toys and clothing. As you probably have not heard, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed in August 2008. While this law has good intentions it has some unintentional consequences.

As the owner and sole proprietor of my small online business, I create handcrafted nursery décor items and embellished children’s apparel. None of my materials contain lead. However, according to the CPSIA, I need to have my products tested for lead. My items are not created in batches of thousands, or hundreds. My items are custom made, individually, specific to the needs of my customer at a reasonable cost. Among other concerns, due to the burdensome costs of testing and certification, if amendments to the law are not made, I will be out of business as of February 10, 2009.

There are thousands of small business owners like me. We work in our garages, at our dining room tables, and in our spare bedrooms. We lovingly create items with care for our children and children around the world. I have been privileged over the past 2 years to provide nursery décor and apparel to children in 40 states and 9 countries. My fledgling business was growing beautifully.

I realize that this law was well intentioned and came about due to the toy recalls that took place in 2007. But I am asking for the consideration of reasonable exclusions to the testing and certification requirements for textiles and apparel to the extent that a component PRESENTS A RISK that it contains lead. I would like to bring to your attention several online resources that highlight the plight of those like me:

Others who have written to their representatives have simply received a form letter in response. Many of these form letters do not address any of their questions about this legislation or our concerns. At this time I am trying to work closely with my Congressman's office in Washington to get some answers regarding the scope of the CPSIA. The enforcement of this law as written means the end of choice for consumers regarding children's products.

Please write to your representatives. Make your voice heard. Save Handmade.