Handmade toys, children's clothes, even barrettes, could disappear
Oh, don't let it happen. Yesterday Chris Musser forwarded me an email about the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) (an act which generally does lovely things, such as ban the manufacture of toys with lead and phthalates and ban their importation into the U.S.). In it she detailed the requirements of this act, effective February 10, 2009; all toymakers must pay a testing fee of $4,000 per type of toy they make, as well as permanently labeling them with a batch number and date (requiring them to create new molds in many cases). What's more, this act covers children's clothing and accessories, meaning that every single small company that makes children's toys, t-shirts, skirts, barrettes, everything, could be forced to cease operation. This effects so many of you: those of you who make children's items, including cloth diapers; those of you who run Waldorf and Montessori preschools; those of you who own children's toy stores; those of you who like to buy handcrafted goods for your children.
The Handmade Toy Alliance has all the details and a petition to sign. Liz at Cool Mom Picks has lots of info about other ways you can get involved. Tell Earl Blumenauer your story: why do you value handcrafted toys?