Say Goodbye to Garage Sales or Goodwill?

Rep. Bobby L. Rush , Illinois Democrat, is the lead sponsor of the legislation that threatens small businesses, consignment shops, used children’s toys and clothes shops. Shops that basically we all depend on to get things for our children for less, second hand. People who depend on re-selling (either buying or selling, will be much affected by this legistlation).

Under the law, all children’s products must be tested for lead and other harmful substances. Toy makers are required to pay a third-party lab for the testing and to put tracking labels on all toys to show when and where they were made.

Those requirements make sense for a multinational toy manufacturer churning out thousands of plastic toys on an overseas assembly line…But a business that makes, for example, a few hundred handcrafted wooden baby rattles each year cannot afford to pay up to $4,000 per product for testing, a price some toy makers have been quoted, he said.

Just recently, knowing Silas was coming to visit, I made several consignment shop type purchases. These are real people, providing a service, who will likely be out of business after the February 10 date that the law goes into effect.

We can’t even forget for a moment that many of these small toy maker shops STARTED their business in an effort to provide an alternative to all the millions of lead laced toys sent to the U.S. from China. Now they are being punished by a law that will throw their small businesses into bankruptcy.

With a Feb. 10 deadline for complying with the law, small toy makers say they have no choice but to act as if its rules apply to them or risk facing fines of $100,000 per violation.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s more:

The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger — including clothing — be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven’t been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.

“They’ll all have to go to the landfill,” said Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Assn. of Resale and Thrift Shops.

So assuming any of it contains any lead at all, why not risk it in a landfill to seep into the water supply? Better yet, maybe Jimmy Carter can build a whole community over it .

More reading

Baby Cheapskate

Washington Times

L.A. Times

Cecilia Leibovitz CraftsburyKids.com wrtes: Our liberty and right to self-sustainability is not something we are willing to hand over in exchange for shallow and superficial promises of child safety. This law will
not make children safer, but it WILL force thousands of United States businesses to shut their doors if passed as is, on February 10, 2009.

Help Save Handmade Toys from the CPSIA FaceBook Page

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3 Responses

  1. myrrhbeth says:

    Here is an online petition you can sign as well.

    Currently there are just under 9000 signatures, which shows how few people know about this. (In comparison, the Drill Here Drill Now online petitions have a few million signatures.)

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/handmadetoys/index.html

  2. Neil says:

    As usual, the government solution doesn’t consider the unintended consequences.

  3. myrrhbeth says:

    The law was recently clarified to apply only to newly manufactured things, saving the heinies of thrift store and resale shops.

    However American handmade toys are still in question…

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