**An update: Thanks to the thousands and thousands of complaints, the CPSIA will be postponed for a year. Hopefully, during that time, they'll work out the many, many kinks. :)**
I know there aren't many people who read this blog, and I'm not usually one for soapboxes, but I feel like the word needs to be spread about the CPSIA. There are so many great websites that talk about it: Handmade Toy Alliance, Cool Mom Picks, and Fashion-Incubator, just to name a few. I won't go into lots of detail, because the previously-mentioned websites do a fantastic job of getting information out. But after spending an hour this morning reading CPSIA updates, I just feel dumb-founded and outraged. And I think that if you aren't outraged, it's just because you don't know what's going on. So maybe I can help raise awareness, even if it's just in a few people.
The CPSIA takes effect on February 10th of this year, and it requires testing for lead and phthalates on all products intended for use by children 12 years and under. Do you even understand what that means??? All products: bed sheets, blankets, t-shirts, binkies, books, crayons, socks, coloring books, wooden blocks, bicycles, diapers, ...everything. And it is retroactive, which means all products on the shelves as of Feb. 10th have to be tested, even if they've been around for 50 years...like old library books. The American Library Association has been scrambling to figure out what to do about this. Do they pull every single children's book on the shelf on February 10th, or do they ban children 12 and under from the library??? They've asked the CPSC what's going on and still haven't gotten a straight answer. You can stay up-to-date on that particular CPSIA fiasco here.
Obviously, we all want out children to be healthy, and with the lead-laced toy scares of the past year, stricter testing requirements seem like a great idea. But the CPSIA seems like a poorly-thought-out, thrown-together law that has consequences going way beyond its intent, and Congress needs to know that! I've never been a very politically active person, but the craziness that is looming on February 10th makes my head spin. And, yes, I'm bummed that my brand new etsy shop is pretty much kaput--because I was really excited about it for a really long time. But I'm more bummed that it'll be really hard to find handmade toys for my kids, and that I likely won't be able to buy them hand-sewn scandinavian costumes at the festival this summer. I'm sad that the holiday craft market probably won't have any toys or clothes for kids this Christmas. So I wrote to my congressman and senators to let them know how I felt. I plead with you to do the same!