CPSIA Meets Dr. Suess

Yeah, really. Heather Idoni has written a poem, Dr. Suess-style, as a social commentary about the crazy CPSIA law. She also suggests you pick a current event or controversary in the news today and write your own Dr. Suess-style story. Go to Heather’s site to read this fun story about this not-fun-at-all situation we’re in.

For Me and My House ~ At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
1 Thessalonians 5:23
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A Bit of Rejoicing on Deadline Day

Today is the day the CPSIA goes into effect. Due to prayers and actions taken by many, there has been a stay granted on much of this law. I noted some of it on Jan. 31st.  (And there is plenty more in previous posts, if you are clueless as to what I’m talking about.) Part of the new enforcement policy, that was released on the 6th is:

5. Product Classes Whose Lead Content Is Consistently Below Lead Limits

The Commission staff has begun to identify classes of children’s products
whose lead content appears to fall consistently below the prescribed limits.
The staff is not aware of a single documented case in which a product falling
within one of the following classes contained total lead above 300 ppm:

• Ordinary children’s books1 printed after 1985
• Dyed or undyed textiles (not including leather, vinyl or PVC) and
non-metallic thread and trim used in children’s apparel and other
children’s fabric products such as baby blankets.  This class does not
include such products if: (1) they have undergone further treatment
that may impart lead (2) they are ornamented with metal, rhinestones
or other objects; or (3) they have plastic or metal fasteners with
possible lead content (such as snaps, grommets, zippers, or buttons)

Upon completion of the staff’s investigation of these product classes, the
Commission intends to issue guidance addressing them in greater detail.  In
the meantime, the Commission’s Office of Compliance shall not prosecute
any person for manufacturing, importing, distributing, selling or offering for
sale a children’s product (or part thereof) that falls within the two classes
described above on the basis that it contains more than 600 ppm lead unless
the Director of Compliance finds that (1) such person had actual knowledge
that the product contained more than 600 ppm lead; or (2) continued to
manufacture, import, distribute or sell such product after being put on notice
by the Commission staff.

IOW, children’s books printed after 1985, as well as general textiles, have consistently proven to not have lead in them. This means that many children’s general and home education resources, as well as fabric items, can continue to be produced and sold without testing.

This is great news for many home ed publishers. But it has also already affected many. Some have put forth much money to have this testing done, in order to comply before today’s deadline date. (Obviously they needed to act before this unforeseen, though welcome, change came about at the end of last week.) Others have closed out either their entire business or certain aspects of it.  Continue to pray for those this has already hit financially, and pray that God would restore what the locust has eaten.

See all new updates to this law here.

For Me and My House ~ At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
1 Thessalonians 5:23
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CPSIA – Better News

Some good news has come down about CPSIA. Required testing/certification (on new categories) has been postponed for 1 year. What is not clearly evident in this ruling is whether prosecution can still be based on the new rulings, or whether it is completely based on the previous laws.

For Me and My House ~ At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
1 Thessalonians 5:23
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HSLDA & CPSIA

I’m very please to hear that HSLDA is taking CPSIA more seriously and considering its affect on hs curricula and those hs-ers whose livelihood is based on it.

Here’s part of what they’ve said:

… we are concerned about the effect that this legislation and
the proposed regulations will have on small family businesses. It
appears that many of these vital businesses could be forced to close
due to the high cost of compliance with the CPSIA.

HSLDA is trying to help protect such family businesses, as well as the
homeschooling families who may purchase educational items from such a
family business.

We will be meeting with the commissioners of the Consumer Product
Safety Commission on Wednesday, February 4. It would help our efforts
if we had actual accounts from family business owners who will have to
go out of business, or make drastic cutbacks, as a result of this
legislation and the proposed regulations. …

And more on scheduled meetings with CPSC.

CPSC’s current public calendar for the week of Feb. 2 shows several trade associations have asked to meet with Commissioner Thomas H. Moore or commission staffers to discuss the impact of the law. Moore has a Feb. 4 meeting scheduled with Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, and two other officials from that association; he has another meeting that day with Goodwill Industries International Inc. President & CEO Jim Gibbons and two others from Goodwill to discuss the law’s impact on donated goods. On Feb. 5, Robert Howell of CPSC’s Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction is scheduled to meet with a lawyer and others representing the Gift and Home Trade Association to discuss the law’s impact on that association’s members.

For Me and My House ~ At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
1 Thessalonians 5:23
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More on CPSIA

I haven’t read through all of this site yet, but a friend recommended it for info for the CPSIA. Jennifer, the lady that writes here is an attorney and does testing for lead.

For Me and My House ~ At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Order Christian & Home Ed Resources here

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Update CPSIA – Libraries

This certainly isn’t the answer to this much larger problem, but is another front on which to be vigilent.

from the American Library Association:

A public meeting was held January 22, and Cheryl Falvey, General Counsel for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), stated that a decision should be made by the first week of February regarding libraries.  She advised libraries not to take any action at this time, and we are hopeful that the Commission’s decision will exempt libraries.

Even with her assurances, we must let the CPSC know how important an issue this is to libraries.  Please call the Acting Commissioner, Nancy Nord, at (301) 504-7923. When you call this number, wait for the automated directory to give you directions to reach Nancy Nord’s office. Explain to the Commission that it is simply impossible for libraries to remove all children’s books from the shelves and/or ban children under 12 from the library and still provide the level of service that is needed.

As always, thank you for all that you do.  The only way we will be successful in ensuring that children will have access to safe books is with a strong grassroots effort.  Your comments to the CPSC need to be submitted as soon as possible, so please tell all your friends and family – we need as many people as possible to communicate that this oversight could have lasting ramifications on our children and our communities.

See also http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1573

Amputating the Arm Part 4

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, before reading this post on what you can do about this situation.

I certainly never planned to take all the time I have in reading, researching, and responding to the CPSIA. Even though I’m very concerned about safety (especially when it concerns my children!) I just hoped this was pretty much internet fear-mongering. Sadly, it is not.

I am also very against huge government regulations, i.e. loss of individual responsibility and individual liberty. When I began hearing how far reaching this horrendous piece of legislation is, I had to take a more serious look, and when I began getting personal emails and questions about it, I had to write on it. What I found is far less than pretty. It is an economic nightmare for all parents and all Americans.

I’m not into cheap plastic toys for my children, I’m far too “naturalistic” for that. Give me (my children) organic fabric and natural wood and plenty of old, real books, and I’m pleased. But this law goes way beyond banning cheap Chinese junk (and doesn’t necessarily do that). It does threaten the availability of things we do use and love.

Rather than addressing the problem as it is, they chose (through this law) to regulate everything having to do with children’s products. Rather than banning Chinese imports of children’s items that have not been tested, they decided all children’s products, no matter who made them or where or when, or whether there’s really any legitimate chance that they actually contain anything that is really any threat or not, must be tested and proven to not contain any lead or other banned substances.

The first 3 parts of this article talked about just some of the implications of this bad law. In this final Part I’m giving you some action steps. We all need to take action on this one.

What action can you take regarding the CPSIA?

1) Pray – that the law would be repealed or greatly ammended to make it more realistic.  Most (?all) of the products that caused the problems were imported from China. So why don’t we ban imports of children’s products from China? That would go far in stimulating our economy instead of destroying it. It would boost our economy by promoting American made children’s products.

Pray also for the small & family businesses that are being devastated by this right now. Pray for guidance as they make decisions over the next several days, and for God’s provision for their families. (I’ve already heard from one home ed business friend that they are liquidating their physical inventory and closing that aspect of their business.)

2) Read the legislation itself.

http://www.cpsc.gov/ABOUT/cpsia/legislation.html

And do more research. You’ll find info all over the web, much of it fear mongering, some of it not completely accurate, some of it very helpful. I’m only giving a couple links. The first to the article some of the quotes I’ve given came from:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=85542
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-thrift9-2009jan09,0,7588285.story
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-thrift2-2009jan02,0,2083247.story

3) Contact the CPSC.

http://www.cpsc.gov/about/contact.html

Call Nancy Nord – acting head of the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission – 301-504-7923. If she’s busy, leave a brief, 
polite, but firm 
message.

Call the CPSC ombudsman’s office – 888-531-9070

4) Contact your representatives. You can write them directly at these first 2 links, or send a “form letter”, that you can add to, at the last link. I highly recommend personal calls/letters/emails, but if you’ll only do it by form letter, at least do that.

http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
http://www.house.gov/

http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476

5) Sign petitions. There are many petitions out there now. You can google CPSIA petitions and get a bunch. Make sure you read any you sign, as all may not state your position. This is one of the first, from the children’s clothing industry. Others have to do with the used items, and not all are worded in a way that applies with the new “clarification.” Others are written in a pro-big government way, just wanting a specific exemption.

http://ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html

6) Spread the word! Let your friends, neighbors and even enemies know about this. And encourage them to take the above actions.

7) Did I mention Prayer? Don’t get wigged out about this. Don’t let it steal your peace. Just take the appropriate actions, and then remember God holds all things in His hands. Regardless of how this goes, He is still on the throne!

For Me and My House ~ At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
1 Thessalonians 5:23
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Amputating the Arm Part 3

Please read Part 1 and Part 2 of this article before reading this post.

Regulations as huge as this new CPSIA will also, of course have great ramifications on our economy in the broader sense, beyond just our own personal purchases, what is available and what kind of prices we have to pay. It will greatly increase our taxes.

Not only will all our own home ed supplies have to have certification, but so will those in the public schools, and we all pay for those. We all pay for those textbooks, and manipulatives, and games, and other supplies used by children at the public schools – and our public libraries. Now we also will be paying to have each of those tested. Will library sales be allowed to continue? Can they take that risk? But the question has been asked, will they be able to continue to lend untested books and children’s products? Are they “at risk” in doing so?

We also will all be paying for the increased staff at the CPSC, going up from 367 to 500 employees. We will also pay for the investigation and prosecution of any that don’t comply.

The measure raises the CPSC budget each year until 2015, at which time the agency’s budget would be $156 million. [The budget was $62/63 million last year.]

I’ve only noted a few of the implications of this really bad legislation. This will affect our lives far more than the general “economic slump” we’re in.

It will not directly affect our family ministry/ business personally. Our business has gone to all e-resources (download it, print it yourself products,) over the last few years. But it will greatly affect us as a family (and every family and person in America, whether they have children or not.) We buy a lot of used children’s products yearly – books, clothing, etc. And even more so, we buy many resources from small publishers/ producers. Those that the testing costs will be prohibitive to.

To the big companies that produce thousands, 10’s and 100’s of thousands of products at a time, having every “batch” tested may not be a big deal. What’s a few hundred or thousand dollars? (Although of course it will be passed on in the final cost of those items. And of course the cost will be passed on from those productions that didn’t pass the test, and had to be destroyed.)

To those who produce in small quantities the cost will be prohibitive. The testing would cost far more than the item, even a whole batch run, itself. Many of these small businesses are truly shoestring businesses. They don’t have huge stockpiles of inventory. The produce 20, 50, or 100 items at a time. Some 1 item at a time.

We will not only be unable to buy all the used things we are used to buying, but will pay higher prices for new items, to cover the testing costs (and “at risk” or “failed” inventory that can’t be sold.) We will not be able to recoup some of our investment of this year’s books, clothes, toys, etc. by selling them used to help pay for next year’s, unless we are willing to take the risk. As mentioned in Part 1, landfills will undoubtedly be hit extremely hard, as things are thrown away instead of taking the risk to “pass them on.” Or at least I keep hearing “landfills”, but really if these are “hazardous products” will we (individuals, businesses, schools, libraries, etc.) really be able to throw them away, or will they need to be disposed of by the “hazardous waste” businesses? Can you imagine the cost of that?!

Check back tomorrow for what you can do. For today, as always, continue to pray!

Go to Part 4.

For Me and My House ~ At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
1 Thessalonians 5:23
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Amputating the Arm Part 2

Please read Part 1 before continuing this post/series on the new CPSIA.

The availability of used children’s products is just the tip of the iceberg of the reaches of this new law. Obviously, anything used won’t have this certification, unless the seller chooses to pay the prohibitive cost to have each item tested, but think now of the new products, that this law enacts strict regulations for.

This law was written out of the concern of lead in children’s toys. However, as they have extended it to cover all children’s products (anything intended for use by those under 12 years of age) it’s reaches go far beyond toys from China.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that lead testing requirements apply to children’s books, cassettes and CDs, printed game boards, posters and other printed goods used for children’s education. While it does claim some printing inks will be exempt, paper, cardboard, bindings, glues, laminates and other inks are still subject to regulation and require testing.

Let’s look at the implications to us as home educators, and particularly the home education resource market.

Many home education books, CD’s, games, manipulatives, flashcards, magazines, and such are published by small self-publishers, many times home educating families that author the materials. Many of these small businesses will not be able to afford the required testing (anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars for each component, in each production run,) and won’t risk the fines and imprisonment to continue their businesses. They will be at risk in selling any of the inventory they have in stock on Feb. 10th that has not been tested. I’m part of a group of Christian self-publishers, many of them publishers of home ed resources that you all know and love, and many of them are wrestling with this right now. Will they be able to continue their businesses after Feb. 10th? They are watching and waiting, and working to find solutions that will allow them to remain in business, as for many of them, this is a “calling” and a ministry to fellow home educators.

This also will affect many other cottage industries, such as those that make clothing, knitted or crocheted items, blankets, and diapers, to name a few. I think of the many WAHMs that make diapers and wraps and such, or crocheted booties, bonnets, and sweaters, or afghans, blankets, quilts, or those that sew modest clothing for those that don’t sew, etc. Think also of those that make “natural” or “one of a kind” children’s items and toys – such as wooden cars, or cloth dolls, or handmade jewelry, etc.

This law is not only a potential disaster for used children’s items trading, but also for small businesses that manufacture anything for children. Pray for those that have been suddenly faced with the fact that their business may not be able to continue after this month. I really don’t want to see my dearly loved companies that produce dearly loved products go out of business. Many of them are my friends. I care about their families and their livelihood. I also care about the home educators that will miss out on much of the absolute best resources if these are forced to close up shop.

Think of the implication this will have on our economy. The shut down of multitudes of small businesses that just can’t afford to pay for the tests, or in the case of used items take the risk of selling untested items, will affect us all. The bankruptcies, the unemployment, the lost/unusable inventory, these are just a few more implications of this new law, that is amputating the arm to cure the hangnail.

Check back tomorrow to see implications.

In the meantime, and as always, remember, we serve a living Sovereign God. He holds history and the future, nations as well as individuals, in His hand. America and her economic structure does not provide our Salvation, He alone does.

Go to Part 3.

For Me and My House ~ At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa @ Me and My House ~ Discipleship for Life!
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Order Christian & Home Ed Resources here

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