This information just came in from one of our loyal Smarty Sponsors, Spencer Daniel, with the Divine Consign Show. And unfortunately, it’s not good news for their business. The Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is scheduled to take effect February 10th, and was passed by Congress last year in response to widespread recalls of products that posed a threat to children, including toys made with lead or lead-based paint. Let me preface this with there is a lot of gray area in this new law and it will be extremely difficult to enforce, but here’s the deal.
From the LA Times on 1/2/09, “Barring a reprieve, regulations set to take effect next month [Feb. 10] could force thousands of clothing retailers and thrift stores to throw away trunkloads of children’s clothing. This new law is aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children. It mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and under (including clothing) be tested for lead and phthalates. Those that haven’t been tested will be deemed hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.” Click here to read the full story in the LA Times.
Clearly there are two sides to this law. Supporters say the measure is drastically needed. Yes, I agree, we absolutely need to have laws in place to protect our children and what they are exposed to. However, this seems to go against the green movement. Umm, did they think about our landfills and the good ‘ole green motto “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”? The new law if left as is will drastically affect US-based makers of handcrafted toys and handmade clothes. Don’t you think including clothing in this mix is a little excessive? Think about the impact on trunk lines, local consignment sales, mompreneurs, eBay, etsy, Craig’s List, our own Smart e-Place, Goodwill thrift shops, etc. – this is HUGE! Small businesses in particular will not be able to afford the high cost to test their products. Not to mention, we’re not going to be able to sell any of our hand-me-downs manufactured pre-Feb 10th, unless you can show proof that your items have been tested (OK, that seems realistic!). No more big consignment checks for me selling 4 kids’ worth of clothing each season. The amount of money I spend on clothing will drastically increase if I can’t shop the consignment sales too. This is a big deal in my world!
There is a possibility of a partial reprieve by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But they don’t have authority to change the law. Bottom line – as of February 10, 2009, consignment sales, Craig’s List, eBay, etc. will be forever changed when it comes to selling any items geared towards children. Divine Consign will not have a spring 09 show (at this point, unless some changes are made with the CPSIA), which is such a bummer. We won’t be able to resell or even donate our pre-Feb 10th children’s items, which means all of this stuff will have to go to landfills at this point. Seems to me that Congress may need to take a closer look at this one. I don’t think our economy can handle another blow of this magnitude. Let’s hope for a reprieve – there HAS to be a reprieve!
What do you think?
I think this is rediculous. I understand wanting to make things safer for our children; however, I don’t understand how they are going to be able to enforce this. A lot of us depend on these consignment sales to get our children’s clothes for the next season as well as selling some of our stuff we no longer need. Plus, this is really going to hurt the Goodwills, Salvation Army’s, etc. People are going to begin to figure a way around this law. Before you know it people will be having consignment parties instead of tubberware parties with thier friends…..
That is a brilliant idea! Consignment parties! Let’s start today! I wonder if you could circumvent this law by having a “Smarty Swap” instead of e-place for selling and is swapping considered different from selling?We need a plan, a Smarty plan.
OK MOMS….Let’s get organized…email, call,fax, otherwise blanket your representatives with what this will do to you. Tell them to repeal, revise, or do something to allow clothing to be resold. They will do nothing without our voice.In this economy this is the LAST thing us mommies need to hear!
Does anyone have contacts at the Charlotte Observor? They mentioned in the LA Times article that this law will pass because people do not know it exists!! We need someone who is organized to lead the way and tell us what to do…where to send letters and what to say!
sounds like a garage sale is in my future rather than the consignment shop!
http://blog.resadesign.com/2008/12/did-you-know-there-is-new-law-that-will.html#linksWhat can you do? 1. Start by forwarding this information to everyone you know. Parents of young children are not the only ones touched by this legislation.2. Vote for amending the law on Change.org. With enough votes it will be presented to President Obama in January!3. Find your Congress people and write a letter like the sample here. Particularly if they serve on the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection or the House Committee on Small Business. If you click here you will be taken to a site that will help you automatically contact your local representatives with a form letter (very fast and easy)!4. Send an email directly to the CPSC or contact chairperson Nancy Nord at 301-504-7923.5. Sign this petition, to be submitted to the CPSC.6. Check out these additional resources: CPSIANational Bankruptcy DayHandmade Toy Alliance Wikipedia -CPSIA@ Cool Mom PicksFacebook-Handmade Toy AllianceTell your friends and mom’s groups about what’s going on. And speak out as a consumer. Support safe goods for our kids, but support clear and available business practices for those who make these goods.
I can’t imagine this will be enforced…and can’t imagine how…
Are you kidding me? What about buyer beware? This is not going to stop me from trying to sell things on Craig’s List, etc.
I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing. As a parent I want the safest toys for my children, I love the fact that toys and clothing should be tested because there are several items that I have seen/bought and wondered if in 2 months it will be recalled. Does this mean that the stores that sell the items need to test it or the manufacturers? If it is the manufacturers then I am all for it, maybe make them put a label on all toys that have been tested.
Have any lawyers looked into this besides reporters?
This law definitely has a ton of gray area and loopholes and I’m sure there are a zillion lawyers shredding it to pieces! It’s just bizarre that it is written the way it is and passed under the radar. In the end, I’m sure it can’t proceed as is. There will be too many businesses filing for bankruptcy. Crazy, crazy times!
I agree, I do not think that this is a bad thing in the long run. We all want our children to remain safe and healthy. And businesses should be held accountable for the quality of their goods. But the part of this law that is so hurtful for the resale industry is that it is retroactive. Just think about who this will impact – Goodwill, Salvation Army, your local church consignment sale. And the price of children’s clothing could potentially go up since the manufacturers have to pay for the testing. This could really hurt boutique and trunk show brand clothing. Many of these businesses are very small and operate with little capital. Luckily many people have been making lots of noise at the Consumer Product Safety Administration, so the law could likely be amended. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the consignment business will go on!
This would never happen in a million years so I don’t think people should be getting in an uproar.
Yes most of the consignment stores I shop st have no plans of closing or make any changes. We still plan to have the CMOMS sale. I don’t think they can really enforce this-I am not worried about it.
I emailed the author of the LA Times article and here is what she said:Hi Adrienne,The law already passed. You can try contacting your Congressperson.As I wrote today, there is a possibility that some items will be exempted:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lead7-2009jan07,0,6917858.storyMore changes might come: I’d encourage you to sign up for the e-mail alerts on the CPSC website about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html. It will inform you how to submit comments in the public comment period, and also inform you about recent updates. We’ll also continue to follow the story. Alana Semuels Los Angeles Times 202 W. First St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 213-237-7929
I think the US should just ban items from China. This is where most of the contaminated items come from to begin with. I also think this would be extremely hard to enforce, my understanding is that it would include all resales, including garage sales. Please…
Let’s think about how this is going to affect the POOR, let alone us upper middle class that like boutique clothes. The poor are going to suffer the most. Many poor people depend on consignment to clothe their children. A agree with all the comments already written too, affects on the environment and on businesses. We can’t let this happen, we all have to fight this.
How many of you use libraries? How will this effect the children’s departments? It is not only items for sale and the testing is expensive.
NEWS from CPSCU.S. Consumer Product Safety CommissionOffice of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 8, 2009Release #09-086 CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908CPSC Clarifies Requirements of New Children’s Product Safety Laws Taking Effect in FebruaryGuidance Intended for Resellers of Children’s Products, Thrift and Consignment StoresWASHINGTON, D.C. – In February 2009, new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) take effect. Manufacturers, importers and retailers are expected to comply with the new Congressionally-mandated laws. Beginning February 10, 2009, children’s products cannot be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) total lead. Certain children’s products manufactured on or after February 10, 2009 cannot be sold if they contain more that 0.1% of certain specific phthalates or if they fail to meet new mandatory standards for toys.Under the new law, children’s products with more than 600 ppm total lead cannot lawfully be sold in the United States on or after February 10, 2009, even if they were manufactured before that date. The total lead limit drops to 300 ppm on August 14, 2009.The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.When the CPSIA was signed into law on August 14, 2008, it became unlawful to sell recalled products. All resellers should check the CPSC Web site (www.cpsc.gov) for information on recalled products before taking into inventory or selling a product. The selling of recalled products also could carry civil and/or criminal penalties.The agency intends to focus its enforcement efforts on products of greatest risk and largest exposure. While CPSC expects every company to comply fully with the new laws resellers should pay special attention to certain product categories. Among these are recalled children’s products, particularly cribs and play yards; children’s products that may contain lead, such as children’s jewelry and painted wooden or metal toys; flimsily made toys that are easily breakable into small parts; toys that lack the required age warnings; and dolls and stuffed toys that have buttons, eyes, noses or other small parts that are not securely fastened and could present a choking hazard for young children.The agency has underway a number of rulemaking proposals intended to provide guidance on the new lead limit requirements. Please visit the CPSC website at http://www.cpsc.gov for more information.—Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC’s web site at http://www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC’s Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov.
That is what I found out when I looked up the information, and it looks to me like resellers of clothes is exempt. The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.I know I am going to continue to sell on Ebay… I know Spencer with Devine Consign and she is still trying to do the show. I sure hope she does!
Soooooo glad you gals are on this! I have posted a link on my facebook page, emailed friends, written our senators. This law is making me crazy and I am a small busines owner that will totally have to stop operating if it does not get changed. If you want to act, go to this link and vote for change! Or else the only thing that will be left standing will be 24 hour, made in china, climate changing walmarts!http://www.change.org/ideas/view/save_handmade_toys_from_the_cpsia
Just like the plastic or Tupperware deal, if it’s not BPA free then we shouldn’t buy it. Bottles now are BPA free. By the way Pottery Barn Kids plates, bowls, and cups are BPA free!!!
This is insane. As I read this I’m on a 5 week vacation visiting family in South Africa (and yes Cape Town is very chic and has tons of Smarty Moms!) I hate that regulation of this (and too many other things in my opinion) only feeds to guilty mommy syndrome. I mean seriously, I’ve discovered here that children are fine here and half of the stuff that is regulated with us is not regulated here. We are donating all of the clothes that Max has outgrown here to the local Children’s Hospital which is one of the best in the Southern Hemisphere and they are not worried about “toxins”. I think this is a horrible idea and the consignment issue aside – is literally what feeds the “regulation machine”. I’m all for safe kids but safe kids should NEVER mean that parents should be paranoid about everything your kids touch!
Jen P, I’d love to read a follow-up article that clarifies this subject. I think the news that Lee Anna Wilson posted is good news but it would help if someone could sort through it all.
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Great insights. I loved to read your article. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!worries
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