Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Senator DeMint works for change to the CPSIA

Senator DeMint is proposing some legislation to change CPSIA.

You can read about it here…
http://demint.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=JimsJournal.Detail&Blog_ID=295d58b2-b6fe-c446-1432-24b6199424ed

Overall, I agree with many of his points and don’t think that these changes will negatively affect our children’s safety in any way, contrary to the opinion that the consumer safety advocates of the CPSIA might have you believe. However, I don’t think this list is all inclusive of what the amendments should hold.

One big thing that I believe to be missing in our conversations about CPSIA is an alternative to the third party lab testing that will be required by CPSIA. Why aren’t more people asking about alternative testing processes? The only alternative I’ve seen mentioned is XRF testing. Is that really the only other testing method that exists? Why isn’t it acceptable to the CPSC for testing for lead in paint on toys while it is perfectly acceptable technology for testing for lead in paint in homes? When will a scientific study be conducted regarding the correlation between lead readings found by XRF and the lead reading found in the same object tested via a digestive testing method? With all the technology available today, one would think that there would be more than one way to obtain this testing. For phthalates too, is there another way? We know XRF doesn't test for phthalates, but other than destructive testing, what other ways are there? My limited search for answers on these questions has not been successful.

Another important thing that I really want addressed, which essentially is mentioned in Senator DeMint’s proposal when he talks about using manufacturer’s certifications, is that the materials used by the home based business (like mine) are likely to be different than the materials used to make a mass produced item. For example, I use a non-toxic, water based, acrylic craft paint that is made in the USA for my painted items. It contains no lead, and the plant in which it was made uses no lead-containing chemicals. It is highly unlikely that the paint found on a mass produced toy is the same type of paint. Lumping all painted items into one pile for a testing requirement presents a significant problem.

It also begs the question about art supplies. How is it that one could purchase these paints at any craft store and use them with their children, and yet use of them to sell suddenly results in the need for lead testing. Schools are using these types of supplies in art classes. They have been considered safe for years. How many stories have you heard about kids eating paste in Kindergarten? (Maybe you were that kid?) Those stories don’t end in tragedy. Art supplies have their own labeling requirements. Those should be proof enough regarding the contents of a supply, regardless of whether it is to be for personal use or to create handcrafted items for sale.

1 comment:

Meekiyu said...

you have a lot of great points. I'm very sure there are more cost efficient ways to test for chemicals and that there has to be a better way to deal with so many varieties of the same thing. Not all paint is created equal.