Friday, January 16, 2009

Preparing for the CPSIA

I'm sure most of you have heard of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act. If you haven't, get yourself over to the Common Room for all the latest. It's a poorly thought out law that is already having undesired consequences. Connie says she will have to stop selling her bonnets, which I think is a travesty. Most sellers of homemade children's products who do not have such pure consciences have decided they will continue to sell, despite the fact that they know that after February 10th they will be commiting a felony to sell their products.

(warning: sarcasm ahead...)

This law applies to every single product which is commonly used by children 12 and under. The irony is that many toy manufacturers have no idea that they are even supposed to comply with this law. So, as a good citizen, I thought I would give the following industries a heads-up that they should prepare their inventory for the CPSIA:

  • Cardboard boxes. This dangerous toy will certainly need to be tested, for the sake of the children.
  • All sports products. Footballs, soccer balls, swim suits, jerseys... Since children start playing sports well under 12 years old, these now obviously need to be tested for compliance. Because we wouldn't want a 12 year old to get kicked in the mouth by cleats and get lead poisoning from them. (So they will naturally be testing the grass and astroturf where the little league games are played, right? In case a child falls down and gets a mouth full of grass, we can't be too sure that it's safe!)
  • Bricks. Brick factory was a favorite game of Ramona Quimby, so it must still be a popular game, right?
  • Clothes pins. These potentially hazardous toys can be used as dolls if you draw a face on them, or they could be clipped onto fingers to create truely spooky fingernails.
  • Adult formal wear. Because "dress-up" is always a little girl's favorite game. And let's not forget
  • Make-up. Because what little girl hasn't played with her mother's make-up collection?
  • Pots and pans and spoons. A toddler's favorite musical instrument! How can we justify not testing this group of products, which are typically made of metals (and lead is, in fact, a metal), when fabric and wood are now under suspicion?
  • Televisions. Children now spend most of their lives in front of televisions - in fact, nearly every American child has a TV in their room. So naturally, ALL TV's now fall under this law.
  • Pets. This will be a tricky one, because the testing process requires destroying the object tested. But as pets are often given to children as gifts, they obviously fall under this new law. I can't wait to hear PETA's reaction to this.... But if pets get a bye because they are living creatures, then their accessories (collars, food bowls, etc) certainly cannot.
  • Vegetables. Farmers will now have to test their crops for lead levels, I presume, as soil these days has lead levels that might exceed the maximum ppm allowed by law.
And I have no idea how they are going to regulate sticks and rocks and grass and soil. But I forgot. Children don't play outside anymore, so they're at least safe from that potential danger.

As you can see, the scope of this legislation is ridiculous. I only hit on the first few things that came to mind, but there are hundreds of products that a significant number of America's children use on a daily basis that could theoretically be subject to the CPSIA. The problems with the CPSIA are legion, and it won't take you more than two pages of a google search for "CPSIA" to come up with at least a dozen more reasons than I've given you. This law was poorly written and is in desperate need of revision!

If you think I'm overreacting a bit, check out how LG has interpreted this law: they are testing their refrigerators.

And if you think that the government will never enforce it for small businesses, I would say you are naive. You need only look at how our benevolent government treats the food industry. What's more, we as consumers will now be faced with the prospect of buying illicit goods. Can Christians buy a banned toy in good faith? We are, after all, subject to the laws of the country we live in. And certainly, no Christian should knowingly break the law and sell items that have not been tested, right?

Please, write your representatives and let them know you want the CPSIA revised or repealed. We want our children to be safe, but surely there is a better way to do it.

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4 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ginny

    And what about the fabric that you use to sew the clothes for your own children? I can see it becoming too expensive to even make your own clothing, because of mandatory testing...


  • Anonymous

    Grr! I wrote my representatives and posted the letter on my blog. Maybe if enough of us make enough noise...

  • Birdie

    Tooth brushes, hair brushes, telephones, silverware can also be considered potentially dangerous... We could go on and on and on. I wonder what libraries, church nurseries, schools, doctor's offices and day care centers will be expected to do in order to make sure they are in compliance with this ridiculous law?

    My husband and I have already signed at least one petition apiece and contacted our representatives.

  • Anonymous

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.