A law unanimously passed by Congress with the intent to protect children from imported items containing lead was written in such a way that it will effectively end the sale all handmade for children. The law goes into full effect in February 2009.
The law requires that anyone - large business or home businesses making any item that can be used by a child under the age of 12 - that is ANY item - must be tested by an independent laboratory that has been approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This testing must be done on all components of the item. Testing will cost from $150 to $500 per item or component. Every time any component lot changes - that is - let's say you use a yard of fabric for an item - and then you need another yard and that yard comes from a different bolt of fabric - that item must be tested again. At the expense and the nature of handmade craft, it will be impossible for any home craftsman to sell any item that will be on the "children's list".
Beyond the effect on home craft, this law applies to the Toy Industry, the Children's Garment Industry, the Children's Furniture Industry, Children's Book Publishing, and on and on. Imagine what a child's shirt will cost in the next few months. Think about what that doll your little girl wants will cost.
This is a tragedy beyond belief. This may not have been the intention of Congress but it is the result.
The following news article relates the facts of this disaster better than I can.
Please read and comment - there and here.
If you would like to be heard by the CPSC regarding this law you may comment at this link.