Thursday, May 27, 2010

So Many Just Don't Know

I have written about CPSIA - the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 before. See this article. This law was passed almost two years ago in August and has been in full effect now for some time. This law effects every craftsperson and artist who works in children's themed craft or art. Anything made to be used of for a child under the age of 12 comes under this law.

Now, I am not going to write another article telling you about this law, but I am going to tell you about my amazement that no one still knows that this law even exists. With the exception of the craft artists that are active on the Internet, no one else knows. Crafts artists don't know. Consumers don't know. The media - newspapers, television, and radio - does not seem to know.

This past weekend we were at a very high class art show - visiting, not selling. The show featured fine art and also high end craft. One of the craftsmen there was selling children's furnishings, toys, etc. All handmade of wood and painted. Now the wood is not a problem under this law, as long as the wood is not finished or coated in any way. This wood was painted and therein lies the problem. The paint is not permitted under the law without extensive and expensive testing. And the testing process for the most part is prohibitive to those selling craft.

There is also a labeling requirement in this law. Every children's item must be labeled permanently in a certain way. Was any of this fine work for children labeled? No. Was this craft artist ignoring the law. No. He knew nothing at all about the law and neither did the people who were buying from him.

Even commercial items for children under 12 that are supposed to now all be labeled to be in compliance with the law are not. Many, many retail stores have new inventory on their shelves without the required and specific label. While large retailers may be very much aware of what they risk and have decided not to sell anything out of compliance, many small businesses, like everyone else, have no idea about CPSIA.

This is just amazing. Why is this law kept such a big secret? It is like saying that now everyone must stop at a red light but not tell anyone. What can be done about it? Frankly, I don't know. I do know that this law needs to be drastically changed and amended or at best repealed and rewritten to be responsible legislation. But that is not going to happen. But at least, while everyone that is involved with making or selling children's items must comply with this law, tell people about it.

Just my observations...

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