Last August, in response to the massive 2007 recall of toys manufactured overseas that contained dangerous levels of lead and phthalates, Congress passed the sweeping CPSIA legislation (aka Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008) to regulate all products intended for children 12 years and under. While no one doubts the importance of product safety, this law has some far reaching consequences.
With the February 10th deadline of initial compliance looming, small businesses, crafters of hand-made goods, and even the American Library Association are scrambling to understand the law and it's implications - with many facing extinction due to cost-prohibiitve testing, certification, and batch labeling requirements.
Consumers, who are largely in the dark over the law, will also undoubtably feel the impact when those coveted handmade bibs and blankies are no long available at local boutiques, that unique toy store down the street is forced out of business, or children are no longer allowed in public libraries because untested existing collections will be considered "hazardous materials"
Is this safety at any cost? How does this affect you? What impact do you think this will have on the already struggling economy? What dangers in children's products are you most concerned about? Do you feel hand-made or Made in USA products pose a threat?
For full text of the legislation see:
For more information on the small business/handmade perspective:
For American Library Association commentary: