Sunday, December 28, 2008


I was lucky enough to be interviewed by the Lincoln Journal Star and Channel 8 News about how the CPSIA might affect small businesses/independent artisans who offer products geared toward children under the age of 12.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, itself, is 62 pages of legalese. It is mainly aimed at children's toys and child care articles. It may also be broadly interpreted to mean anything for use by a child under age 12. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with interpretation of the law, but they have not yet given official opinions and interpretations. Manufacturers will be required to provide certificates of conformity. Those certificates must state that the item has been tested for lead phthalates and falls within statutory guidelines (less than 600 ppm of lead, less than 0.1% of benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), di-butyl phthalate (DBP) or di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)).

The CPSC will require third-party testing for lead and phthalates. Each type of item made will have to be tested. If a small manufacturer makes unique items, each and every item would need to be tested. It is the cost of the testing that will put many small manufacturers out of business.

There are literally hundreds of blogs and forums addressing the CPSIA issue. Because the CPSC has not issued its full interpretation, there is a lot of fear and worry about what will and will not be exempted. Many independent artists and manufacturers are very concerned that their products may be banned by the law.

This law will affect small manufacturers/artists/creators who do business on line and in other states. That means people with their own websites and etsy sellers who hand make plush toys and other items would not be able to sell their items without the testing and certificates.

Here are the Etsy shops of some of the LincolnHandmade Team members who will be affected by the CPSIA law:





This Happy Panda blog entry gives an excellent description of lead and phthalates testing, as well as some of the possible costs. Ouch!

One more thing: Kaitlyn (owlpeople) talked to Fortenberry's office and they called over to the CPSA and verified that this will NOT affect us at the local level. We will still be able to do Farmers Market, Art Shows, etc. but it still doesn't get away from the fact that we can't sell on the national level without the certifications. It's also possible that prices will rise *because* we can't sell nationally.

Please contact the CPSC to show your support for independent artisans!


1 comment:

Pamela Kramer said...

Thank you for spreading the word to your readers!