Saturday, January 17, 2009

Save Handmade crafts

For those who don't know, the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008) is an act designed to protect our children from unsafe toys, aka.. lead at excessive levels.. and thats a noble cause, HOWEVER, this act requires ANY item designed, marketed to, intended for use by, or looks like it could be designed FOR any child under the age of 12 must be tested. Sounds like a good idea, but you have to consider that the cost for these tests (estimates on different websites vary) have ranged from $100.00 to $4000.00. Even if we assume its $100.00, the average crafter cannot afford to have every "batch" of their craft tested. This act is poorly written and doesnt adress the REAL problem... it forces testing on products manufactured in the US, when our products werent the problem to begin with. We should be forcing testing on every product IMPORTED to the US, but a witch hunt on good American companies making good healthy products is not helping. In this economy, do we really need to put more of a burden on our businesses?
THIS AFFECTS EVERYONE! This affects at home care-takers, daycares, and schools... as your cribs and any toy items must be tested for lead. This affects crafters, of course. This affects Re-sellers, such as Salvation army and others, as THEIR apparel and toys must be tested. This affects GARAGE SALES. According to this act, you CANNOT sell any item for children under the age of 12 which has not been certified to meet the legal levels of lead. I am NOT joking, that is in the act. It is breaking the law to do so, and the fines are high.
Heres an example... if a bib maker makes 10 different styles of bib, with two fabrics on each bib, velcro, and heavy weight sew in.. she must have all10 of those bibs tested, at the $100 a pop (or more) and if she sews a different style, even using the same fabrics, THAT must be tested. EVERY time she makes a new batch, they must be tested.. even if they use the same supplies. She must also PERMANENTLY label her items with the batch number, so consumers can know when it was made and what batch it came from.If a dress maker who makes children's dresses sews 20 different dresses, in 3 sizes each, she must have ALL sizes of all 20 dresses tested, even if they are made of the same fabric. Thats 60 tests. And dont think this doesnt affect ADULT apparel makers too, because it does... how many of you have 12 year olds who wear "adult" clothing? Not all 12 year olds shop in the junior section.. so adult clothing manufacturers will have to take extra precaution to ensure their products are never marketed to anyone under the age of 12, it goes so far as to say they cannot APPEAL to children under the age of 12. The law STATES that.. how can a dress maker ensure their product doesnt appeal to a child under the age of 12?
Small businesses CANNOT absorb the costs of this, they will either close their doors or raise their prices.. or stop selling items for children under the age of 12. We all buy our products (materials) from retailers here in the US... surely if those products (materials) were tested that would be good enough, right? No. The finished product must be tested, regardless of the materials being safe.
Here are some TRUE-VRS-FALSE things we managed to find, in regards to this Act, and how it will affect CRAFTERS specifically, of any item for children under the age of 12. Do your own research and read the law.. and of course, all of this is subject to change because there are amendments to this Act, and there are people fighting to change it. This isnt the "final word" this is a.. right now we think.. kind of deal.
Statement - certain things will be exempt for testing, like apparel, because fabric doesnt have lead in it.FALSE- all items marketed to, designed for, advertised as, or for use by a child under the age of 12 must be tested for lead, even if it does not contain any.In 180 days, must test less than 600 parts per million. In 365 days, must test less than 300 parts per million. in 3 years from date of enactment, must test less than 100 parts per million. WHAT the item is does not matter. It MUST test if it is to be used by a child under the age of 12.
Statement - on Feb 10th the store shelves will be empty, everything not tested must be disposed of.UNDETERMINED-I am getting conflicting information. I cant say yes or no on this, to be honest I dont trust anyones "opinion" on this, including mine. I have contacted my states governer, and my senator. Both of their "offices" have replied that my concerns will be adressed. I dont know how long that will take.
Statement - on Feb 10th you must stop selling anything which has not been testedUNDETERMINED-I am getting conflicting information. I cant say yes or no on this. I have contacted my states governer, and my senator. Both of their "offices" have replied that my concerns will be adressed. I dont know how long that will take.
From what I read.. I gathered that all items are subject to an up to 10 month grace period for testing.. you have to have certificates for every item to prove you had them tested. BUT, I could have read it wrong. I will wait to see what the governer or senator says.ACTUAL TIME LINE FOR ACCREDITATION-ITEMS WITH PAINT - NO MORE THAN 30 DAYSCRIBS, PACIFIERS - NO MORE THAN 60 DAYSSMALL PARTS - NO MORE THAN 90 DAYSCHILDRENS METAL JEWELRY - NO MORE THAN 120 DAYSBABY BOUNCERS, WALKERS - NO MORE THAN 210 DAYSALL OTHER CHILDRENS PRODUCT SAFETY RULES - NO MORE THAN 310 DAYS (10 MONTHS)
THIS IS ACCORDING TO SECTION 102 of the ACT, view the PDF at, search H.R. 4040
Statement - All cribs must be tested if they are to be used in a daycare, home care facility, or to be re-sold (such as a hand-me down store, or consignment shop)TRUE - unless amended (and it SHOULD be.) - It shall be a violation of section 19(a)(1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act for any person to which this applies to manufacture (make), sell (store or otherwise), contract to sell or resell (consignment store), lease, sublet, offer, provide for use (give away!!) or otherwise place in the stream of commerce a crib which is not in compliance with a standard promulgated under subsection (b). (meaning it must meet the lead levels I mentioned above... 600 parts per million, then 300.. maybe 100 eventually).
This applies to any person that -(a) MANUFACTURES, DISTRIBUTES, OR CONTRACTS TO SELL CRIBS; (Salvation army, Consignment stores, Goodwill, Garage sales, Deseret Industries, Baby stores, Walmart.. it affects ANYONE who wants to SELL a crib.)(B) BASED ON THE PERSON OCCUPATION, HOLDS ITSELF OUT AS HAVING KNOWLEDGE OR SKILL PECULIAT TO CRIBS, INCLUDING CHILD CARE FACILITIES AND FAMILY CARE HOMES; (Daycares, at home care facilities, babysitters, ANYONE who has children in their home and receive pay for it.)(C) IS IN THE BUSINESS OF CONTRACTING TO SELL OR RESELL, LEASE, SUBLET, OR OTHERWISE PLACE CRIBS IN THE STREAM OF COMMERCE; OR (Consignment, Salvation army, Crib retailers, Baby Boutiques)(D) OWNS OR OPERATES A PLACE OF PUBLIC ACCOMODATION AFFECTING COMMERCE (HOTELS)
BASICALLY - THIS AFFECTS ALL OF YOU! According to the way this law is written, it could be ILLEGALfor your sister to give you her crib without having it tested. It could be illegal to sell a crib which has not been tested, even illegal to give it away. Cribs should be tested, but there should be an exemption or "grandfather" clause for ones already in circulation! I cant afford to have my kids crib tested so I can donate it after she doesnt need it anymore.. I KNOW Goodwill cant afford to have all kids cribs tested before they can sell or donate them. This is REDICULOUS.
All "Durable infant or toddler products" must be tested... those are defined as:(A) Full size cribs and non full-size cribs; (B) toddler beds; (C) high chairs, booster chairs, and hook-on chairs; (D) bath seats; (E) gates and other enclosures for confining a child; (F) play yards; (G) stationary activity centers; (H) infant carriers; (I) strollers; (J) walkers; (K) swings; and (L) bassinets and cradles. ALL of those items are included in the law I posted above, ALL are illegal to sell or give away, even by you, without a lead test certification.
If you planned to donate your childrens old items, you cant. If you planned to give them to a friend, you cant. If you planned to sell them, you definitely cant. According to this law, as it is written right now, you CANT. its ILLEGAL. (to find out what you can do, keep reading)
1) DEFINED TERMS- As used in this section
(A) The term `phthalate alternative' means any common substitute to a phthalate, alternative material to a phthalate, or alternative plasticizers(B) The term `children's toy' means a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer for a child 12 years of age or younger for use by the child when the child plays(C) The term `child care article' means a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep or the feeding of children age 3 and younger, or to help such children with sucking or teething. (PAJAMAS, BEDDING, BLANKETS, BIBS, PACIFIERS, TEETHERS, BOWLS, SPOONS, FORKS, CUPS, HIGHCHAIRS, ANYTHING TO HELP A CHILD SLEEP, EAT, SUCK, OR TEETH)(D) The term `consumer product' has the meaning given such term in section 3(a)(1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2052(a)(1)).(A) AGE- In determining whether products described in paragraph (1) are designed or intended for use by a child of the ages specified, the following factors shall be considered:(i) A statement by a manufacturer about the intended use of such product, including a label on such product if such statement is reasonable.(ii) Whether the product is represented in its packaging, display, promotion, or advertising as appropriate for use by children of the ages specified.(iii) Whether the product is commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child of the ages specified.(iv) The Age Determination guidelines issued by the Commission staff in September 2002 and any successor to such guidelines.(B) TOY THAT CAN BE PLACED IN A CHILD'S MOUTH- For purposes of this section a toy can be placed in a child's mouth if any part of the toy can actually be brought to the mouth and kept in the mouth by a child so that it can be sucked and chewed. If the children's product can only be licked, it is not regarded as able to be placed in the mouth. If a toy or part of a toy in one dimension is smaller than 5 centimeters, it can be placed in the mouth.
Statement - well how will they know we are not complying? They wont worry about us, we're small potatoes.TRUTH -Maybe, maybe not. Is it a risk you are willing to take? I listed the fines below. Just be aware, in the UK they have had tougher toy laws for a long time.. as a result, their toys are safer.. but also as a result, crafters are subject to having their product confiscated, even at craft shows, if they do not comply with the law and regulations. YES, they can find you. Will they? Maybe not.. but I am not willing to risk a $100,000 fine to find out.
(1) CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY ACT- Section 20(a)(1) (15 U.S.C. 2069(a)(1)) is amended--
(A) by striking `$5,000' and inserting `$100,000';
(B) by striking `$1,250,000' both places it appears and inserting `$15,000,000'; and
(C) by striking `December 1, 1994,' in paragraph (3)(B) and inserting `December 1, 2011,'.
(they took the fine from $5000, and made it $100,000?!!?!?!!)


Antoinette Newhouse
Designer & Owner Three Peas Co.
Urban chic apparel, accessories and boutique items to compliment your lifestyle

Three Peas Co. Lifestyle is a combination of urban chic with todays modern child in mind. Every little girl boy and women deserve boutique quality handmade items.

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