Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New safety rules for children's clothes have stores in a fit

The CPSIA does not just affect toys--it regulates all products for children under 12. Clothing, school supplies, cloth diapers, car seats, boy scout patches, bicycles, sippy cups, books--everything.
Congress in its wisdom decided that a problem caused by irresponsible mass-market toymakers should be solved with a one-size-fits-all solution for dozens of industries totally unrelated to toys.
Some owners say the cost of testing for toxic lead and phthalates will shut their businesses. The law goes into effect Feb. 10.
Barring a reprieve, regulations set to take effect next month could force thousands of clothing retailers and thrift stores to throw away trunkloads of children's clothing.
The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger -- including clothing -- be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven't been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.
"They'll all have to go to the landfill," said Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Assn. of Resale and Thrift Shops.
The new regulations take effect Feb. 10 under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed by Congress last year in response to widespread recalls of products that posed a threat to children, including toys made with lead or lead-based paint.

Read the full article HERE

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