CPSIA: Handmade Goods Need Your Help!

Hand Made Goods are facing a tough time in the next few months. A new law called CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) is about to be implemented, and is threatening all the handmade items that could come in contact with children.

The law was created to protect children from the issues that have raised from all the Chinese imports containing harmful chemicals like Lead. The contaminated toys posed a thread and the US Government stepped in, creating a law that demands that all items that may come in contact with children to be tested for those harmful chemicals.

The problem with the law it covers such a broad number of items and the description is so vague and extensive that in reality demands that anything that a child may be attracted to (Like my dolls, although they are not intended to be toys, just decorative items) must, by law, be tested
via a prohibitively expensive process that is unaffordable to small crafters and artists like me, and many other who sell on Etsy and many other places, even if we can prove that our process only uses materials certified as non toxic.

I urge you to contact your authorities to let them know that the law needs extensive revisions to take in account people like Independent Artists who create one of a kind items, as well as small shops, hard working moms and artisan families who depend on the income generated by our hand made goods to support our families.

You can read more about CPSIA by following these links:
Cool Mom Picks: save handmade
ETSY's open letter to CPSIA
CPSIA Official Site

And last but not least:

change.org: Save Small Business From the CPSIA
VOTE Before Jan 15th!

Thanks a lot for your support!

Comments

Peng Peng said…
Thanks for sharing this crucial info! I hope enough people speak up, vote and be heard!
Jesse Mendez said…
Hi there how are you? I looked through your blog and found similarities and would like to become blog friends.

I have a humble blog here in San Diego and would love it if you came by and visited and commented.

I think you may enjoy the various labels that I have for my High Art blog. I install music videos that I like and keep my writing as real as I can.

I hope to see you soon here.... :)
58 Cherries said…
Oh dear, this is EXACTLY what I've been fearing ever since I started thinking of making my own dolls. What if you were to specifically say that the doll is intended for adults only?? Like not intended for children or some such label sewn on it or on the box?
Danita said…
I hope so too Peng Peng!

I'm not sure about your question 58 Cherries, but I think that as long as is PERCEIVED as something that can be a toy it will have to be tested. I think it's an exception if it's a one of a kind item though...
artsy*dreams said…
Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention...hate to think this would have slipped by before we could do anything about it! I followed your link and voted...hope we are successful!
suzanne.artist said…
I'm emailing my representative.

Thanks for letting everyone know.

Suzanne U.
Carolyn said…
Wow this is horrible!! I will forward your blog toppic to everyone I know!!
Thanks for the info!
Sabbio said…
Thanks for letting us know! Why always restrain the little ones while huge groups always shower us with their low quality, souless products? This gets me angry!
Stacey said…
FYI, I spoke with an aide in Congressman Bobby Rush's office who said that if the doll, etc is a work of art and is not intended for children 12 and under, then all we would need is a clear disclaimer stating that, attached to the item.

I was concerned because my work is "cute" but is not intended for kids. He assured me (many times over, I might add) that if I market my work to adults and have a disclaimer, I will be ok.

The law is intended to go after people and companies that are blatantly and knowingly violating lead limits on children's items.

Art doll/plushie makers, painters and illustrators shouldn't worry. According to Rush's office.

I'm no lawyer, so please don't take this as legal advice...but I certainly have some peace of mind when it comes to my work.

I'm still very, very upset for all of the handmade artists making things for kids, and I will keep up the fight for them. I am meeting with my state rep on Friday and will get my point across!

Hang in there, everyone!
fred said…
1. danita you are not correct. There is not room for perception in law. A good workaround is to put a tag that states either "this is not a toy" or "for ages 12 and up."

2. With all of the handmade community up in arms about this, has anyone stopped to think HOW exactly the government is going to be regulating this? Do you really think it is logistically possible or realistic for the government to go after and prosecute 100,000 individual handmade plush or wooden toy sellers and craftspeople? think about it. It will never happen. How could it?

As a professional infant toy designer, I can draw a parallel here. I am subject to following a slew of CPSC laws to protect children from choking hazards, or the product gets mandatorily recalled with a small part issue or strangulation hazard. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of handmade crafty goods on etsy and similar sites that claim they are safe for babies because they are made of wood or in america that have bulbous ends smaller than 1.68 inches, hard protrusions smaller than 2 inches, or cords that are longer than 12 inches with something on the end that can catch (like a pull toy) and become a strangulation hazard. Have you ever heard or seen of the CPSC or the government prosecuting or recalling these handmade craft items that are hazardous? Nope. And, as it turns out, strangulation and choking are far more responsible for ACTUALLY killing and maiming children then any of the toxic chemicals combined.

I love the handmade toy and craft culture and do not see it going away anytime in the near future. This law is scary, but it seems like it can not be enforced on such a small scale at all- and that there is a lot of over reaction happening here in the handmade community.

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