Today, Wednesday, is a blogathon day for the people protesting the CPSIA laws.
Many people are not aware of them, and so that's what the blog posts are for. If you'd like to join us, please do so.
The CPSIA laws are laws that are a reaction to the lead poisoning problems with toys coming from China. The laws say that all things that are going to children 12 and under must be tested for lead.
Sounds good, right?
Except it also requires testing of handmade items, made from safe products, in American homes. This will kill the handmade toy industry. Many crafters are getting scared, and are stopping making any dolls or teddies or children's clothes or anything like that, until this mess is sorted out.
They made their items out of non lead based products. And since things are one of a kind, or they're a tiny 'company' (think, one woman in her sewing room going to fairs or selling online) how could they afford it? If it's one of a kind, they can't possibly get everything tested because it changes every time!
The law also covers older toys at present. Though various officials people on Etsy have talked to have said that they will use 'common sense', (for example, antique dolls that cost $500 most people would understand they're for adult collectors, not children) but the fear is still there. So people are stopping selling.
Books will apparently have to be pulled from shelves.
The fear is that you won't be able to buy children's clothes from opportunity shops anymore.
This law is only in the USA, but it would affect me, and English people, because I do like getting stuff online from the US, and I'm afraid that it'll be picked up here as a good idea.
I'm also concerned for miniatures, because I don't know how strict or stupid the lawmakers will be. The makers of collectors dolls (crafty looking soft ones) are afraid right now because they make dolls... that the law will consider it for children. Would the law also look at 'dollhouse' and instantly think 'for children' as well? We all know that assumptions happen.
Will online marketplaces such as Etsy take it upon themselves to check for licenses? So... even if it ISNT for children, or it's actually an Australian or English company, will they take it off their site so that they don't potentially get sued? (like they remove Hello Kitty things if they're reported)
Even if it's not true and the law isn't that stupid to compare our miniatures with children's play things, will people think it IS true and pull their products from the internet? As can be seen from my Etsy thread asking if I have to worry, some people are thinking that dollhouse miniatures should be pulled due to CPSIA laws- will all people assume that, even if it's not true, as apparently it's not? (read the second page of the thread.) You should see how many people are crying because they are closing their stores on Etsy.
If I made some chunkier dollhouse food for children (and labelled it for say, 5 years and over, adult supervision required, etc etc, potential choking hazard) and sold it online to an American, would that be illegal? And that's a thought, will you no longer be allowed to buy hand made children's dollhouse food? I've seen some great ones for barbie doll houses!
YES the lead in the chinese toys was tragic. But this law is really going to hurt crafters and small businesses around the world.