the cpsia

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is a new law that requires manufacturers to test all components of any products for use by children 12 and under for dangerous substances such as lead and pthalates. Sounds great, huh?

The problem is, testing is required for each component of each item produced and will cost thousands of dollars for every different product (including each colorway, and each size). Clearly, small and micro businesses can't afford that, and the penalties for non-compliance are steep, up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have lots of friends who make children's products by hand, and this law, as written, will put them out of business. These are great businesses that make their products in the US, with materials that are obviously safe.

It would make more sense if each manufacter of children's products needed to get some sort of certification from the manufacturer of their components... say, for example, someone who makes onsies would need the manufacturer of the snaps and the manufacturer of the fabric to forward something that says the materials are compliant. But to have every component tested on every size and color of onsies made is just silly. The properties of the snaps do not magically change between a size small and a size medium, sheesh. I could go on, but suffice it to say that the law was written very quickly as a reaction to tainted toys from China, and did not take into account the realies that small, handmade manufacturers face.

I believe an amendment to the law is necessary. To help push this along, please take a second to vote for this at Change.org. I would love to make sandals for tweens, and doing so would be breaking the law (it becomes effective in early February) - please help us small manufacturers out!

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