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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008
I am referring in particular to the US CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) that was passed into law this past summer. Driven no doubt by recent issues with unsafe products for children being imported from around the world, this new law will require, as of February 10th, 2009, that ALL manufacturers of products intended for (or even possibly used by) children under 12 be third part tested for lead and phthalate content.

Sounds great, right? Of course, we want our children to be safe and healthy.

This law refers to all manufacturers of any item that will hit the consumer market. That means Granny at the bazaar selling her baby booties and Mattel's Barbie dolls. Perhaps Mattel can afford the testing on each and every product, but you can bet that Granny cannot afford $1000+ to test her baby booties.

Effectively, this law drives out of business the people making the very items in response to the lead scares~ the people who are making toys the old fashioned way~ by hand. Even if Gramps were to pick up some tree branches and whittle them into a rattles to sell, he would have to test that tree branch for lead. Just like the plastic producer of rattles made in a factory have to do. It doesn't matter if your materials are certified already under the stricter regulations, you still have to test them.

Of course, we all want our children to be safe and healthy.

That is why we make and use natural handmade toys.

As a Canadian small business/ toymaker (and this applies to clothing, diapers and ALL items used by children) I am feeling such sorrow for all of the fabulous, creative artists who are passionate about creating things for our children that are sustainable, natural and safe and who are now facing closure of their businesses as their creations become contraband.

I am feeling frustrated that I have no voice in this matter, and yes, it effectively destroys my business, too. As an exporter I cannot knowingly sell into the USA items that do not comply with the new laws. I lose 80% of my market. I love my Canadian buyers but at the end of the day, I rely on my international customers.

As a parent I am outraged that the toys that will be available to families will be those created by the largest companies. Toys that do not fit with our ethics, values and choices.

You can check out this video and the links with it for more info and ways you can voice your opinion.


Sue said...

Great post!
I'm in the US just for 3 more years before we come back to Canada. I thought I had the good live for the time being with cheap shipping, what makes a huge difference, believe me...and now this !!!
I can still not believe that they will go through with it the way it is now. I sure hope though that someone wakes up and realizes that it is somewhat of an unrealistic law to put into effect.
I hope we all can make a change and be heard.

Jules said...

I just wanted to say a huge THANKS. The beautiful playsilks I ordered from you have arrived (in time for my last minute Christmas madness) & they are absolutely stunning. I couldn't be happier. Thankyou.

... can't you just advise customer's that your products have not been tested for lead & let the people make up their own minds. I thought the USA based their dreams on values of freedom & the right to choose.
Just a thought. x peace

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