It saddens me to see that so many shops selling handmade items for children are going out of business because of the new lead testing requirements set by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. I have been keeping up with the articles as best I can, but keeping a back seat to it all because it didn't really pertain to me. I don't normally make baby items, but it was always an option...until now. I was trying to stay informed, yet wait for it all to be sorted out by the deadline of February 9, 2009. It can be very confusing and I am not at all qualified to explain it here, but there are many people getting fired up over this issue. Here are some links for more information...
Consumer Product Safety Commission Information Page - http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html
Etsy-related Storque articles - http://www.etsy.com/storque/search/title/cpsia/
This is a great blog article CPSIA - Confusion and Chaos - http://learningresourcesinc.blogspot.com/2009/01/cpsia-confusion-and-chaos.html
I came across this Etsy shop and all of this really hit home. YadaYadaYada has a big "Going Out of Business Sale" banner up in her shop. Here's what her shop announcement says....
"Due to the stricter CPSIA regulations requiring lead testing on all items for children under 12, I will not be able to afford to stay in business after Feb 10th. With sadness, I am retiring all my adorable characters and closing my children's line."
Yada Yada Yada is a husband and wife design team bringing embroidered childrens' clothing and accessories to you. Asher is primarily responsible for our adorable little animals with attitude. Hilary brings his drawings to life through digitizing and machine embroidering.
While YadaYadaYada is one of hundreds of Etsy shops affected by this law, just think of the thousands of small businesses that will be closing across the country. Part of the reason I chose to represent this seller is that they are a local seller near me in Ohio. My husband has been laid-off due to a bicycle accident that left him half blind. As difficult as it has been for him to find work in this economy, I can understand the frustration of small businesses being forced to give up shop.
What can you do? Support handmade in any way that you can! I encourage you to keep up with this legislation and contact the CPSC with your concerns here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/newleg.aspx