Saturday, November 29, 2008
I've just heard about the impending changes to toy regulations imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and it's very disconcerting. Because of the problems and dangers caused by imported toys with high lead content and unsafe small parts, primarily those imported from China in 2007, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) passed the CPSIA this past August.
The CPSIA sounds great in theory, because we all want children's toys to be safe. However, it does not take into account all of the safely and responsibly produced toys made in the US, Canada, and Europe, many of which are made by cottage industries on a shoestring budget. The CPSIA's changes would be extremely costly to small-scale toy manufacturers such as myself and many of our fellow Etsy sellers. For instance, the fee that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA is $4,000 per toy. Those who can't afford to pay such fees will be operating illegally once the CPSIA takes effect.
I urge you to read all about this issue on the website of The Handmade Toy Alliance. They have a very informative article posted on their home page, along with ways you can help, such as endorsing The Handmade Toy Alliance's proposals to improve the CPSIA. Let's all get the word out about the CPSIA's restrictive measures that could force many wonderful, independent makers of handmade toys out of business!