The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) which goes into effect February 10, 2009 requires lab certification on products to ensure that lead and phthalates are not present in toys or clothing for children (12 & under). The current structure of the CPSIA, however, endangers hundreds, possibly thousands, of small business owners and independent crafts who supplement their incomes by making and selling handmade products. Mandatory 3rd-party lab certification and labeling for *every* end-product manufactured will drive many people out of business.
I’m not a toy maker and I don’t sew or sell children’s clothing, but the threat to the handmade community, whether American, Canadian, or European, is clear to me. The Handmade Toy Alliance offers this proposal to modify the CPSIA and, as we all know, strength comes in numbers. Please consider signing the petition or visiting the Handmade Toy Alliance for information on how to contact your state representatives.
The folks at etsy.com have added their efforts in an open letter by inviting the Ombudsman for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to join in a webchat via virtual labs with artisans to discuss their growing concerns.
More information on the CPSIA can be found here.