I felt the need to draw attention to my little button on the sidebar because it's about something that affects many of us, but I haven't heard anything about it out in "the real world." There has been quite a bit of buzz about it online in various places especially among those who are WAHMs (work at home moms) and others who buy and sell handcrafted items.
Because of all of the problems in the recent past with lead and other harmful chemicals in toys and items that are intended for children, Congress began working on a law in attempt to protect our children from such products. I am all for protecting our children, however, the law that was passed in August of 2008 seems to go a bit too far. This law will make it illegal to sell any items intended for children if they have not been independently tested after February 9, 2009.
This means that WAHMs can't sell items that they have made unless they send them out for costly 3rd party testing in order to have the items certified. That, as you can imagine, would be an expensive if not impossible feat for many small businesses. Thousands will have no choice but to close their doors.
Another issue with this law is the fact that it will be retroactive. This means that even items produced before February 10 that have not been tested and certified may not be resold. Can you imagine the effect this would have on consignment and thrift stores as well as the families who depend on these as well as events such as yard sales and sites such as Craigslist and Ebay to economically clothe their children?
I have not had the time to research all of the technicalities of CPSIA or what specifically is being done to change it. But I do hope you will take a few minutes to check what Baby Cheapskate has written about the topic. Also, please do consider contacting your congressmen and representatives to let them know what a mistake this law would be in it's current form. There are possible exemptions that are in the process of being worked out, but this is why we need to let our leaders know how we feel.
There has been a lot of panic and possible overreaction on the web, but it seems to have slipped silently through in the mainstream for the most part. I know I will feel better if we can get a positive public statement soon. Let's hope that happens.
UPDATE: You can check out the update on this issue at Baby Cheapskate. It looks like there has been some progress, but we still need to let our concerns be heard!