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.
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