The whole craft world is abuzz with discussions of the new cspia laws that have been passed and will take affect February 10th. In short, a law has been passed saying that all manufactures of items for children under the age of 12 must have all of their products tested for lead by a third party. It does not matter what you make because the law covers EVERYTHING, not just toys. I will be one of the first ones to say that I am all for strict safety standards for our children's toys! However, instead of focusing on the foreign imports and supply companies as it should, it is now saying that we will have to test every one of our products that we put out, regardless of whether our suppliers have documented proof that they are free from lead. This means that in my case that I would have to have every color of the vinyl I use for my baby bibs tested. So far I have heard that $70 is the absolute rock bottom price for this service, but it sounds like many are encountering prices running in the thousands. I use about 12 different colors so thats about $840. That may not sound too bad to some, but then you need to think about the fact that every time I buy a new piece of vinyl I have to have it retested all over again. I will have to stop selling children's items. This law should be overturned and rewritten so that it will target those who were the offenders in the first place. Or maybe we should just stop allowing things to be imported from countries who's governments don't even give a crap about the safety of their own people and environment let along ours. The last I heard, craft supplies and fabrics, with the exception of those made for stained glass, aren't even available in this country.
As a whole, that handmade market place is full of items that came about because of a need for more safe, wholesome children's items. Many of us were sick of hearing the reports of lead in the toys. However, the handmade world exploded not only because of the fear of unsafe toys, but because we are sick of the lame choices that companies offer us! How many more screetching, battery-power-sucking, supposed brain enriching toys do our babies really need? Do I really want my kids playing with lead laden baby hooker dolls? How many more of us were sick of having our kids clothing and shoe choices be limited to the latest Nick Jr, Disney or PBS characters?
Crafters you rock! I am amazed at how creative and resourceful you are. You offer alternatives to the mundane, unsafe and just plain stupid choices that are offered to us. I am really PROUD to say that I am a part of this movement. Keep fighting this! We may be down, but we're not out!