Today is CPSIA Blogging Day. Now, I’m just going to assume that you’re a little like me, (because I’m a narcissist) and you’ve heard about the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) only because everyone has been talking about it for weeks. You probably know that is has something to do with safety and kids, and you might know that it’s threatening the existence of countless small businesses, especially home run businesses, beyond that your knowledge of the situation might be a little sketchy.
The Act was originally created in 2007 to protect our children from all the defective and dangerous toys coming out of China. And in theory it’s great. It’s in practice that issues come up. The testing that the act requires will be easily carried out by huge corporations and will cripple or destroy small businesses. Labs will be charging $300-$4000 per product to test for compliance with CPSIA regulations. And, because of the way the act is worded, each new batch will have to be retested. (To learn more about the act and the repercussions click here and here.)
Right now small retailers are going nuts trying to sell off their stock before they are forced to start testing. And everyone is doing their best to push back the deadlines and try to get the CPSIA changed. (You can learn more about that here.)
One thing that is not often mentioned is that the CPSIA isn’t just affecting toys and apparel. It’s also affecting books. All those fun toddler books with flaps and bumps and fuzzy things to touch and tickle. Those books are all affected and libraries might have to shut down their children’s sections until they bring their inventory into compliance. That’s right, it could mean bye bye Pat the Bunny and Peek-A-Zoo.
I’m just trying to show you that this affects you even if you don’t have an Etsy store or make baby onesies out of your basement. Worse, countless people might end up out of work and they won’t even have Pat the Bunny to console themselves!
Want to do something to help? Click here to get the Etsy Action Kit. It contains sample letters to send to your representatives. Tweet or blog about the situation to help raise awareness. And maybe hunt around for special CPSIA sales to help shop owners sell off their stock.
There isn’t a whole lot of time, the act comes into effect in just a couple days. The time to act is right now. I, for one, would like to keep buying cute wooden handmade toys, little hair clips, and fun t-shirts for my girls, and I would greatly prefer not being forced to buy them from massive multinational corporations. Wouldn’t you?
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And if you’re so inclined, please nominate me.