Friday, January 9, 2009

please vote to rewrite CPSIA

last year new legislation was written in the form of CPSIA--consumer product safety improvement act--intended to protect children, specifically, from unsafe products (toys with lead paint, phthalates in stuffed animals, etc.). it was well-meaning legislation but, unfortunately, as it is written it is far too broad. some of the many unintended consequences of being too broad are the following:

1. used children's clothing, toys, furniture, accessories and books will be illegal;
2. small producers of handmade children's toys and clothes will be forced out of business because the mandated testing is extremely cost prohibitive;
3. larger companies such as mattel, disney, hasbro, etc. will dominate the children's toy market (even more than they already do) as they will be able to afford the testing, making it much more difficult to buy unbranded toys;
4. crafters and artists on sites such as etsy and craftsbury kids will no longer be allowed to legally offer anything intended for children that hasn't met CPSIA's stringent and expensive criteria;
5. ebay will no longer be able to offer used children's anything without proof from the seller that the item has passed testing;
6. many, many families will be adversely affected financially by being forced to buy retail rather than resale;
7. resale stores that focus on children's goods will go out of business;
and on and on and on.

it will also be illegal to donate these items to charity. let me repeat: goodwill will not accept your perfectly good used or new children's goods, and in fact ITEMS THAT ARE NOT CERTIFIED, AS OF FEBRUARY 10, 2009, ARE IN FACT REQUIRED TO BE DESTROYED.

therefore, if you believe not criminalizing children's toys purchased at say a church bazaar is the right thing to do, please take the time and VOTE to rewrite this law. it isn't a vote to repeal the act, just to rewrite it to include some exceptions. votes will be tallied january 16 and the top ten will be reconsidered by the obama administration. it just takes a moment to register and vote...and you will be doing much good for the future children's creative play. thank you!

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