Thursday, February 5, 2009

What goes with LemonGrass?

A new favorite nursery décor line! This exclusive line has a modern-retro feel. Perfect for a unique nursery. I especially love the "Georgie" and "Billie" lines. Check out Olli and Lime:

Ollie and Lime bedding designs pair perfectly with the LemonGrass design scheme featured at BuggaLove. Love Letters or a mobile with a Lemongrass scheme will complete your nursery perfectly!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We're in the Fire Swamp

This is the best description of the stay I’ve seen. And it should answer many of the questions people have about it.

There are people working to overturn the stay and remove Nancy Nord from her position at the Comission. Many of these are consumer groups, but the Energy and Commerce Committee also is working toward this goal. Letters between Energy and Commerce Committee chairs and Commission officials are flying. I am not sure the stay will actually stand. A letter was written from the Committee to President Obama, and from reading that letter I certainly hope that is not the only point of view President Obama hears. I hope that the promises made by are fulfilled to give the president a more balanced view of the issues and consequences of CPSIA. Or that he seeks some other perspective besides the Committee’s in order to make decisions.

We are still in the middle of the Fire Swamp. We’re learning a lot about the terrors of the Fire Swamp and we have definite confirmation that the R.O.U.S.s (Rodents of Unusual Size) exist.

What you could be doing to help:
Contact your Senators and ask them to support the DeMint bill
Work on securing information about your supplies and/or move forward with a reasonable testing program in case the stay is overturned

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…

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.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The CPSIA fight is not yet won

There was a collective sign of relief heard round the internet on Friday evening when the stay of enforcement was announced. "We were heard!", "We're saved", it was deemed a "Stay of Execution" of our businesses. The same language that was used to exempt the retail and thrift stores was used and they were not considered saved.

Still, the news is good. It will allow us to operate until next year without certifying or testing our items. I'm still glad I had my items XRF tested before the stay happened. Because I can say with the highest level of confidence that my items comply with the new lead limits. What this really means for us is that we have been given another year to work toward the changes that need to be made to CPSIA

Here's an article that I'm in, published today in the Wall Street Journal.

But good news can be short lived. We need to keep fighting for permanent change to be made to the law. If we sit on our laurels, a year will go by quickly and we will be in the same position a year from today as we were before the stay. We must continue to contact legislators.

Additionally, it is my understanding that calling the Committee of Commerce and Energy about this issue puts you into a voicemail box and that letters sent to the Committee chairs are being forwarded directly to your Congress person's office instead. These two things allow the Committee leaders to effectively ignore us in our insistance to be heard. We need to find more ways to get our message across. A government "for the people and by the people" should not be ignoring the people!

I think we should organize an enormous craft show/protest in Washington DC for all items affected by this issue. It would be a spectacular event, don't you think? Personally, I would donate a number of these "goody bags" for the first X number of people to come through the gates. Anyone feel like helping me organize this? We'll need a committee of experienced organizers, at least one of them in Washington, D.C in order to make this happen.

Senator Jim Demint is working toward legislative change. There are other people in Congress also working toward legislative changes.

Use this Stay as an additional call to action. If you haven't contacted your representative, do so TODAY! If you have contacted your representative, do so AGAIN! I say, the time for letters and emails has passed, call them. Get a personal contact in your representative's office and/or set up a meeting with your Congressperson. Find out very specifically where they stand on this issue and what they plan to do to help enact change to the law. Encourage bi-partisanship on this issue, separating into camps of Democrats and Republicans doesn't help anyone.

Happy Monday! And wishing you a good week!