Several weeks ago, I sent off a few form letters to my Representatives and Congressman. It was a basic letter, denouncing the evils of the new CPSIA law that will be going into effect in a few weeks. If you don't know what it is, look it up. It's an absolute travesty of a law, and it will destroy whatever is left of the economy, not to mention many small businesses. From what I understand, the way it sits now, pretty much every toy or product or just about anything that could possibly fall into the hands of a 12 year old child, must be extensively tested for lead. The fees appear to be outrageous, and will be crippling to the smaller companies, as the fees are the same across the board.
Here is an excerpt from a recent letter, and I've been seeing these more and more. This is from a company called Hands and Hearts, which create kits for home schooling families to teach their children about history.
I called a CPSIA-certified lab today to get an estimate for testing one
of our kits. I knew we wouldn't be able to afford it, but was
interested in getting an actual number. This is a general estimate and
the actual written estimate could be a bit lower or a bit higher, but
the over-the-phone estimate to test ONE Middle Ages kit was . . . . .
(drumroll please) $92,595. That isn't a typo.
Everytime we change something in a kit, the entire kit has to be
retested. We put 1/4 of a sheet of felt in each kit. Every new sheet
of felt is considered a new batch for the purposes of this law. This
means we would have to have every 4th kit FULLY tested for more than
92K. (The CPSC won't accept our just testing the new sheet of felt.)
Every new batch of anything would require all new full testing of the
Hmmmm . . . .know any homeschoolers interested in dropping 30,000 bucks
or so on a history kit? This law effectively makes it illegal to sell
history kits to children.
We're discontinuing our kits, of course. Testing them is a joke. Keep
in mind, though, that there are companies who will keep selling their
stuff because we need to keep buying it, and we will all ultimately bear
the costing for certification under the CPSIA.
Here's the big kicker, which is what has me rolling on the floor. After writing my little letter to Congressman Sensenbrenner, I received this little gem in the mail. Read it. It's hysterical. Seriously. Sensenbrenner, in his letter, says that most of the problems come from the toys that are exported from China, and that they shouldn't have been imported in the first place. And then, even goes on to state that the U.S., Canada, and many in the EU all have great track records when it comes to keeping lead out of toys. And yet, who is being most affected by this???? US! The moms and dads who work out of their homes to create hand made products that are safe from lead. Products that children can actually learn from, and they are the ones suffering the most. There's even a possibility that things like books for home schooling will be affected. Libraries, second hand shops, so many things will be affected, and in a major Depression, our government has chosen to make things even worse.
Here is a copy of the letter from Sensenbrenner. I underlined the best parts.