A peek at what we make
Yes, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) rears its ugly head once more in my blog. I read an article yesterday that talked about the effect of this law on toy makers, specifically ones in Vermont, as this was a Vermont based news outlet. A link to the article will be included at the end of this entry.
I was very glad to hear about it. In fact, this is one of many recent media tid-bits that are beginning to explain the impact the CPSIA will have on small manufacturers who are unable to afford this testing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that small manufacturers *want* to sell toxic items. The reality is that many of the items we sell simply are not toxic. I can tell you with 100% certainty there are no plastic softeners (phthalates) in my wood toys, yet I will be required to test for them anyway (PLEASE READ COMMENTS BELOW) as of February 10th, 2009 under the current wording of the CPSIA.
As I read more of this Vermont article, I was glad to see they were talking to somebody who actually had a part in pushing this legislation through in its current form. He is David Arkush- the Director for the Congress Watch division of Public Citizen. I was ready to see something in the form a “Whoops! We didn’t mean for that to happen” type of response, but instead I saw this:
“Arkush admits some of the mandates may sound absurd at first blush, such as testing wooden toys for phthalates, or testing cotton T-shirts for lead.
“But we’re erring on the side of safety,” he adds, “because this is about lead and other toxic chemicals that are very dangerous to children.””
What?! Radio activity is dangerous for kids too, maybe we should test the drinking water for it. I have no reason to believe it would be there, but kids drink water, and radio activity is bad for them. I mean c’mon, these are kids we’re talking about here, right?
So here I am, making a new push for us all to make our voice heard. Testing for the sake of testing is NOT an acceptable means of supplying the marketplace with safe toys. Smart testing, targeted testing, testing of items with a proven history of having contained these chemicals- THAT is what will give parents the peace of mind that their kids are safe when they are playing with that new toy or wearing that new shirt to their friends birthday party.
If you have not already done so, please take a moment of your time to write to your Representative, Senator and Speaker Pelosi about this through the following links:
You can also go to the Handmade Toy Alliance website for more information:
And lastly, as promised, the article with Mr. Arkush: