Saturday, January 24, 2009

CPSIA Outlawed Items

I have a home-based business that is in jeopardy. I design, produce and sell personalised stationery on ebay and my own website. I do everything from general correspondence note cards to thank yous to birthday invitations, party favors, address labels, etc. I offer these services for children and adults. The majority of my business is children.

On February 10th I will no longer be able to sell any products intended for children 12 and under. A law goes into effect from The Consumer Protection Agency and Congress stating that any "product" for children 12 and under must be tested for lead, even if that "product" is made from materials that do not have lead in them.

Now I'm all for children's products being safe. That's why I've always supported the handmade industry instead of plastic toys form China. But this new law has handmade companies shutting their doors because of the high testing costs and fines for non-compliance ($100.000.00 per item). The law is so broad and so unspecific that it borders on the ridiculous! Even resale/thrift shops are being hit by this. They are allowed to sell without testing but if something they sell has lead in it then they are in trouble. But they can't test because it costs too much. Many places in my area are refusing to take children's clothing now.

"Products" referred to by the CPSIA are books, textbooks, bikes, backpacks, cloth baby diapers, dolls, wooden toys and puzzles, baby slings, clothing, hats, jewelry, shoes, stationery, invitations,
party favors, plush toys, barrettes and clippies, baby bibs and much, much more. Basically anything a child would come in contact with is included.

No one wants to break the law, I certainly don't. I'm a decent law abiding citizen and I'm trying desperately to be in compliance with my products. All my suppliers tell me there is no lead in their ink/toner and paper, but since I have to test anyway (prove I'm innocent) I'm trying, but until that time I'll be removing all my younger children's items from my stores.

I heard that one-of-a-kind items are exempt. So I'll still be offering the custom design services I always have unless I hear different.

Below are some of my items that will be outlawed on Feb. 10th.

Children's Birthday Party Invitations

Children's Fold Over Note Cards-Used for Party Thank You's & Correspondence

Fill-in Flat Cards & Regular Flat Cards for Thank You's & Correspondence


Vivian Zabel said...

As a small publishing company head, I'm also impacted by this poorly written law, and I've been writing, calling, filling out web comments, and blogging about this law for over a month now. I contacted Congress, committee members (Energy and Commerce Committee, which has to do anything to stop this), and sent emails to a long list of people.

We in for a "world of hurt" starting February 10, including libraries either banning children or disposing of children's books.


Patty Mooney said...

That's messed up. You should call up your local Congressperson, and maybe go and meet them and get a face-to-face. This is affecting your business, and as we all know, we must take great efforts in preserving one's business rather than knocking it down.

Vivian Zabel said...

Not only company owners should contact the powers that be. Everyone needs to, everyone.

sassypackrat said...

Agreed! Anyone who has a child themselves or a child in their family needs to take notice of this. It will affect any product you buy for a child. If you don't have children I bet you go to baby showers & friends' children's birthdays. That's effected too. Not just makers but consumers of products need get involved too!


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