Thursday, February 26, 2009

Write to Glenn Beck!

Glenn Beck has not reported on the effects of CPSIA because he believes that there has been no public outcry. PLEASE send him an email at (the Glenn Beck general email address)

telling him that this issue needs his attention!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More resale and thrift updates

CPSIA Chronicles on

The wide array of varying reactions is indicative of CPSIA's complexity. Some secondhand stores are accepting all children's items and some are accepting none. And some are defining what to accept for themselves. And, a link to the article in the Naperville Sun on From My Room!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Common Room: Who Lobbied for the CPSIA?

The Common Room: Who Lobbied for the CPSIA?

Outstanding research on the formation of CPSIA and how people and interest groups affected the outcome.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

and now, a summary from Planet Moron

CPSIA - a summary

I love all my friends on Twitter. They point me in the direction of great articles like this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CPSIA Poetry - Here's mine

Here's My Limerick:

There once was a lead law called CPSIA
It caught all of us in it's GripSIA
Old toys and books now are banned
No used clothing in this land
That have buttons or snaps or ZipSIAs

And some Haiku:

Chilling legislation for
Kids biz large and small

C'mon folks. You can do better than I did. Give it a try.

Rush Limbaugh on CPSIA today!

See last item on page

This has got to be good!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dr. Seuss was prescient!

So I officially started my pre-1985 children's book collection today. I went to gather these 'banned hazardous materials' from my store shelves and fell in love. When I opened the cover to this 1965 Fox In Socks book, I hit the floor laughing. Turns out that Dr. Seuss was prescient and foresaw this whole CPSIA thing. To view my entire collection of a dozen books so far, click here.

Dr. Seuss Meets the CPSIA

More Absurd Developments

As usual, Walter Olson does a great roundup of the latest CPSIA craziness at CPSIA Chronicles

Lots of articles and posts regarding the removal of pre-1985 children's books from bookstore shelves.

Ballpoint pen manufacturers requesting an exemption.

There is also a new bill regarding a two-year exemption for thrift and consignment stores. Now I have a childrens consignment store so you'd think I'd be jumping for joy at this one. Well, I'm not. First of all, chasing exemptions is not what needs to happen here. Everyone needs to work together with the goal of reexamining this entire law, not just lobbying to save one industry or another. The only positive thing that I can see coming from all the requests for exemptions is simply that flooding the CPSC with these requests may make them take notice that nearly everyone has a valid claim for exemption. Which speaks to the ridiculous nature of the law.

And now the CPSC has opened up a 30-day comment period for what products should be covered by the phthalate limitations. Guess the terminology used in the law didn't make for straightforward definitions. Like, do things that facilitate sleeping include mattresses? blankets? bumper pads? Why do things that facilitate sleeping fall under the phthalate limits anyway? Is phthalate absorbed more readily when sleeping? When do babies even come into contact with a mattress? Do bibs really facilitate eating or are they just there to catch the crumbs? If you put a terrycloth shirt on your baby will that be defined as a bib? And how on earth will we figure out what to do about bottles since they fall under both the FDA and the CPSC? So what will the CPSC really do with the information they get? That remains to be seen but I suggest we all take a whack at providing some common sense. CPSC Request for Comments

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So this is all making kids safer?

Safety Act Puts Kid ATVs, Motorbikes in Storage

$100,000,000 worth of them.

Safety Law Doesn't Mean Alls Well in Toyland

"While the phthalate ban was hailed as a victory for children's health, it's no guarantee that the products are safe.

That's because companies currently aren't required to publicly disclose the chemicals they use in place of phthalates — and little is known about the health effects of one of the most widely used alternatives."

Anyone remember the answer to flammability standards in kids pajamas? Tris. Yes, Tris - later found to be a cancer causing agent. Deja Vu Anyone?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Forgotten Small Business Laws


Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

These laws are designed to protect small business from burdensome and unfair regulatory action. Read them carefully and see how much this whole CPSIA mess is contradictory to the intent of these laws. It's hard to select just a quote from them because the entire text is relevant but here's an easy one:

IN GENERAL.--For each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis under section 605(b) of title 5, United States Code, the agency shall publish 1 or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule and shall entitle such publications 'small entity compliance guides'.

(2) PUBLICATION OF GUIDES.--The publication of each guide under this subsection shall include--

(A) the posting of the guide in an easily identified location on the website of the agency; and

(B) distribution of the guide to known industry contacts, such as small entities, associations, or industry leaders affected by the rule.

(3) PUBLICATION DATE.--An agency shall publish each guide (including the posting and distribution of the guide as described under paragraph (2))--

(A) on the same date as the date of publication of the final rule (or as soon as possible after that date); and

(B) not later than the date on which the requirements of that rule become effective.

So, the posting of the guide on THE DAY the law took effect did not even come close to meeting the requirements of distribution of the guide. That alone should be grounds for delaying the effects on small business. The fact that the phthalate ban became retroactive just a few DAYS before the implementation is contrary to any remotely reasonable approach. The CPSC should not be able to be overturned by a state court.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Five Favorite Things Affected By CPSIA

1) the grandmother who comes into my store and tells me that without my resale store, she would not be able to afford to buy anything for her grandchildren

2) the smiles on kids faces as they uncover their 'treasure' because their mom can say 'go find something' from my store shelves because she knows it won't cost that much

3) getting up each morning looking forward to the privilege of meeting all the great people who come into my store ranging from the environmentalist, to the frugal, to the under-employed, to the poor, to the just plain practical

4) selfishly, the satisfaction I get from providing a community service to those who want to sell their great kids things and those who want to buy them

5) all the choices that are being taken away by the government. In America I have come to expect to have the freedom to choose those things that I enjoy, be it a ride on a roller coaster, a piece of chocolate, or a handmade hairbow for my daughter. I don't want to live my life in a bubble. I don't feel so good about the government taking away my right to choose.

CPSIA for Dummies?

Hey, some great news. I was told to expect a 40-50 page document (aka CPSIA for Dummies?) from my friends at the CPSC by Monday (or Tuesday morning at the very latest) that will explain in excruciating detail everything that resale stores need to do to be in compliance with CPSIA. Nothing like being prepared! I may have a whole hour or two to digest this sure-to-be clear and concise document, review each of the 20,000 some items in my store and take the appropriate action for each one and still open for business at 10:00 am. Stay tuned - I'll be sure to link to this beauty as soon as I get it! Prepare for some simply outrageous commentary!

UPDATE: Seriously, this is it?

So all I need to do, then, is avoid selling all toys, jewelry, and clothing that has snaps, zippers or other closures. Alrighty then.

Nope, that wasn't it. Stay tuned, the sequel will be issued any day now ...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ban on Phthalates now retroactive

LA Times

Great. Four days before implementation and now entire categories of children's items must now be discarded. There is no test for phthalates like the XRF gun for lead so no way to know.

Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal press release If you think states Attorney General's offices will respect CPSC opinions, then read this.

Opinion piece on Blumenthal's press release

Salvation Army

Salvation Army store in Richmond, IN stops taking children's products

In this article, they claim to have made this decision because they "care more about children's safety than exemption". Must be a coincidence then that this decision was made just a few days before CPSIA implementation. They were clearly avoiding the work involved with wading through the CPSIA mess and the liability that now results from it. Being concerned about children's safety does not include preventing access to affordable secondhand items, over 95% of which are 100% safe.

Weekly CPSC CPSIA Missive

CPSC Enforcement Policy Announcement

Well, a few materials are now 'exempt'. Cotton, wool, wood, certain dyed and undyed textiles. Ordinary children's books post-1985. While I don't subscribe to Waxman's assertions that the CPSC is entirely to blame, this should have come out a week after the law was signed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

USA Today article

USA Today on CPSIA

Finally getting accurate major media coverage.

USA Today on CPSIA part II

Well, maybe not entirely accurate. In this follow up, they say "The commission also tried to ease the worries of thrift store owners who sell children's clothes. The agency said it won't prosecute anyone for distributing or selling most clothes, such as T-shirts and baby blankets."

Excuse me for mentioning that only, say tshirts and socks, are made entirely of exempt fabric. That would certainly not constitute 'most' clothes. And blankets are still subject to phthalate testing. And the release did not say they won't prosecute, it said they GENERALLY won't prosecute. Take that to the bank.