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Thread: Are you making children's quilts or toys or garments to sell or donate?

  1. #1
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    Please research how the CPSIA will affect you. This is a very complicated law, inspired by genuine concern about lead poisoning in Chinese toys, but it has become a real nightmare to all of us who sell baby quilts, garments, toys, etc. It even applies to thrift stores and book stores... As the law currently reads, it probably even applies to blankets, hats and other things donated to hospitals and charitable organizations.


    This is my blog post about it, and there are some helpful links on it.

    http://www.xanga.com/gloryquilts

  2. #2
    Renee's Avatar
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    Wow Cathe, this is crazy! What can we do to stop this? How can we get it changed? I work at a daycare center, this will defiantely affect us. May I print your post out and share it with my boss?

  3. #3
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    :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
    Gotta love our government in action..............
    They will have to do something after they see the affect on small business it will have.

  4. #4
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    They have effectively crippled and paralyzed the American economy. This is beyond insanity.

  5. #5
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    Man, we have to do something to stop this. What can we do? Let us know, start a petition or something, and we sign it.

  6. #6
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    Surely when the ones in charge realize the impact of the wording of this decision--they will make corrections. Right? RIGHT??

    Sigh--do they not read all the words and discuss these issues before saying "Yea?" :?

  7. #7
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    No Karla they don't...not until it's too late.

    I live in Nebraska, where we have become the butt of jokes from daytime shows to ER to Leno.

    They had a safe haven law come to pass about depositing children of any age as long as they were minors and not having to worry about abandonment charges. Some woman from Michigan dropped all of her kids off here. Another was a widower with 9 children and he dropped off 8. It was ridiculous. In the short amount of time the law was enacted, to when an emergency session of the state congress re-worded it, was about 3 months....60 some odd children in that time were dropped off.

  8. #8
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    I think this needs some major TV coverage, but I have no idea how to make that come about...possibly send your concerns to some of the national news shows on Fox or CNN or NBC??? But so many people are unaware of it that it might be the only way to get the word out in the short amount of time left. Unless there is an uproar, I doubt most of our lawmakers have a clue what all is actually affected (as long as its not their pocket!!) I know many people that can't afford to dress their kids unless they go to the 2nd hand stores, besides the HUGE waste of resources this will cause. Huh..I could really climb up on my soap box about trade with China(among others), but won't. I hope somebody figures this out quickly.

  9. #9
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I was about ready to post this story. On another board, we were discussing this.
    So, not only clothing, but what about blankets, sheets, pillows, towels, upholstery, etc, etc? Does this mean that we need to get rid of all of this? How many items in our house could have been made in China/Indonesia and other places that we don't even know about? Does this mean that the government is going to reimburse us for what we have to throw away? I know it sound rediculous, but think about it.
    I think "big brother" is just getting too out of hand and TELLING us what we have to do instead of letting us live our lives. But, we are the ones that elect them into office. But we still have to live with their decisions, so what do we do? We write them, call them, show up on their "front doors". I really don't think they thought this entire piece thru. They don't realize how many companies, small businesses are going to go under. Is the government going to bail them out? What about the smaller shops, surely you don't think they are going to be bailed out like the larger corporations. So, now we have tons of people out of work, losing their houses. Who is going to pay for the government to take care of them? WE ARE! They will raise our taxes so they can "help" these people.
    Hubby and I had a HUGE discussion about this today on our way paying bills.
    I could go on and on, but I'll step down from my soapbox

  10. #10
    Power Poster SulaBug's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else on this matter. It's absolutely ridiculous. :thumbdown:

  11. #11
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    so does this mean we can no longer make baby quilts for our own families as gifts? I cannot believe these lawmakers are thinking of putting everything not tested into landfills. Maybe the companies that manufacture the supplies needed such as fabric, battings, threads and such will label their products as "tested" but that means fabrics will now be $30 to $50 per yard, a spool of thread will be $20, and batting will be $150 per package.

  12. #12
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    babeegirl, Glad i have a stockpile of fabrics in my stash, arent' you?

    I think when government jumps in to solve any problem there are always "unforseen" problems that occur. I imagine it will be amended as a good portion of our laws are but it really irks me that a little more time isn't spent considering potential problems with the verbage in the first place.

    With all the recalls this past year, I kept asking my DH why in the world they didn't BAN Chinese toys until the problems were fixed. So many companies are outsourcing to the cheapest supplier and our children pay the price. Why wouldnt' they?? Simple...money and relationships became more important than our citizens in the past administration(s).

    Cathe, thanks so much for bringing this topic to the board.

  13. #13
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    you want to get action FAST
    Talk to the "Go Green" people or the EPA. Can you guess what this will do to recycling? All this lead in landfills?????? :shock: :shock:

  14. #14
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    I have e-mailed both senators from Ohio with this question/statement(bad as it may be!):

    I am trying to get clarification on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Many of my quilting friends have many concerns about what this means for us. Will they still be able to make quilts and donate them to various charity groups? Many of them make crib quilts and children 's quilts to give. Can we sell quilts at craft shows? Or fear is that we will be required to have all kinds of extremely expensive testing done on one of a kind items. Our small cottage type industries will have to shut down.

    Another concern involved the second hand stores, like Once Upon a Child here in Columbus. Will we still be able to consign our kids clothes there and buy the affordable used clothing they currently sell? People are afraid this will force these shops to close up.

    All I can say is what a waste of resources and money. Simply because the Chinese don't care if they follow our standards. We are forced to bare the economic burden of their carelessness. How about we do something about the junk money hungry manufacturers import to save a buck and bring some production back into the US. Leave the small business people here alone. The women I communicate with don't have 3 out of a million items to send for testing like Mattel or other huge companies do.

    Please, tell me I have misinterpreted the legal mumbo-jumbo of this Act! It seems way too broad and a little like Big Brother.

    Thanks for your time and clarification.



    I urge all of you to send your own letters to your congressmen, I read somewhere that's the best way to get their attention electronically, better than petitions. Let's make them work for their pay like we do!! I'll let you know if I ever hear anything back!

    Mary

  15. #15
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    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NUTS! How in the world are families who are on a tight budget supposed to clothe their children? We grew up on hand me downs and never thought a thing about it. Sometimes I honestly think the legislators smoke crack before passing these laws. They need to go after the problem makers and leave the rest of us alone. We are soooooo weak kneed and scared of 'making a fuss' with other countries. Screw them. Either they make products that meet our standards or the stuff doesn't enter our country. Okay, I'm now getting off Terri's soapbox :) :) :)

  16. #16
    Senior Member LoriJ's Avatar
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    This is an AP article from December 24th. Looks like the commission is looking into what exemptions to allow.


    Toy companies cheer proposed lead rule changes

    By MARCUS WOHLSEN
    Associated Press Writer

    Posted: Dec. 24, 2008

    SAN FRANCISCO The makers of handcrafted toys received some holiday hope Wednesday with support from a federal agency for proposed exemptions from strict lead-testing regulations they feared could put them out of business.

    Last year's discovery of lead paint in mass-market toys prompted the government to pass new safety rules requiring testing and labeling that mom-and-pop workshops and retailers said they could not afford.

    As a February deadline for complying with the law loomed, toy makers who use benign materials such as unfinished wood, organic cotton and beeswax sought exemptions from the rules they said could apply to them.

    In a memo released Wednesday, Consumer Product Safety Commission staffers recommended that the agency exempt some natural materials from the lead testing requirements.

    "I think this is definitely a step in the right direction and would provide substantial and enormous relief to our manufacturers," said Dan Marshall, co-owner of Peapods Natural Toys and Baby Care in St. Paul, Minn.

    Marshall and nearly 100 other toy stores and makers formed the Handmade Toy Alliance to ask lawmakers to exempt small toy companies from testing and labeling rules.

    Staff toxicologists at the product safety commission told agency commissioners in the memo that some unfinished natural materials should be considered lead free. The materials include wood and fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, hemp, flax and linen.

    The safety commission still must vote on the recommendations.

    "The agency is diligently working on providing rules that would define some exclusions and some exemptions," said Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman for the product safety commission.

    Lead paint prompted recall of 45 million toys last year, mostly made in China. Parents flocked to small specialty toy stores in the aftermath searching for safer alternatives.

    In August, President Bush imposed the world's strictest lead ban in products for children 12 or younger by signing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

    Small toy makers strongly back the restrictions in the bill, which they say reflect voluntary standards they have long observed to keep harmful substances out of toys. But they never thought their products would also be considered a threat.

    Under the law, all children's products must be tested for lead and other harmful substances. Toy makers are required to pay a third-party lab for the testing and to put tracking labels on all toys to show when and where they were made.

    Those requirements make sense for a multinational toy manufacturer churning out thousands of plastic toys on an overseas assembly line, said Marshall

    But a business that makes, for example, a few hundred handcrafted wooden baby rattles each year cannot afford to pay up to $4,000 per product for testing, a price some toy makers have been quoted, he said.

    Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., lead sponsor of the legislation, says toy makers should not worry. Rush points out that the law already exempts products and materials that do not threaten public safety or health.

    "This exemption should be sufficient to affect most companies," Rush said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

    But without specific guidelines from the safety commission and a Feb. 10 deadline approaching, small toy makers felt they had no choice but to follow the law or risk facing fines of $100,000 per violation.

    The product safety commission has until Jan. 5 to decide on the recommended exemptions.

    Not everyone is satisfied that the proposal goes far enough to alleviate the burden on small toy makers.

    Because the exemptions only apply to unfinished materials, very few toy makers will have products that are entirely spared from testing, said Julia Chen, owner of The Playstore in Palo Alto, which specializes in wooden and organic playthings.

    "Let's be real and focus on these mass produced, manmade-material toys, because those are the ones that caused the problems we know about," she said.

  17. #17
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    This has to do with toys.........I know I am missing something here and I apologize, but what would that have to do with making blankets, clothes, quilts, ect.?


  18. #18
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    I could be wrong, but I think the reference to natural fibers excludes polyesters which are a major component of less expensive children's clothing and often used for durability in charity quilts.

  19. #19
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    Here's the quick response from Sherrod Brown (D-OH)


    Thank you for sending me your comments. They have been recorded and will be reviewed by my staff. We endeavor to send everyone an individual response, but this is not possible in every case. If you have any immediate questions, please feel free to contact any of my offices via phone



    Yeah, I'll never hear from him!!

  20. #20
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    Staff toxicologists at the product safety commission told agency commissioners in the memo that some unfinished natural materials should be considered lead free. The materials include wood and fibers such as cotton, silk, wool, hemp, flax and linen.
    That hearing was yesterday. They were considering only very raw materials - wool and certain fibers in their unprocessed form - not dyed or with finishes of any kind. Like the very cheapest of muslins. They also talked about raw wood (again, unprocessed) and pure gemstones. They didn't even come to a conclusion about any of those.

  21. #21
    Renee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfw045
    This has to do with toys.........I know I am missing something here and I apologize, but what would that have to do with making blankets, clothes, quilts, ect.?
    This a bill for ALL children's items not just toys.

  22. #22
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Cathe,

    I just came home from a shopping trip to JoAnns. I spent $38.00 on fabric to make Linus Quilts. If this bill is enforced you can kiss projects like them goodbye. I will check with my friend who is the Linus Chairperson in our county and see if she has heard about this. I guess I will be contacting my congress people ASAP. It probably will do no good as they never respond on anything else I have contacted them concerning other issues. I also make quilts for war veterns I guess it won't apply to them as they are over 18.
    Big Brother has stepped in it again, big time.

  23. #23
    Senior Member judee0624's Avatar
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    When I read your blog post, I noticed that it refers to "mass-produced" items and "manufactured" items. Doesn't that leave out handmade items?


    judee

  24. #24
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    Handmade items are manufactured. That point was made clear by Cheryl Falvey, the General Counsel for the CPSC. I think I read that on a recap at fashionincubator.com - they are most interested in that kind of thing.
    I am so glad you are willing to contact your legislators!
    The thing is, the law DOES exist and has existed since last summer. Can it be enforced? I don't see how it possibly could be.

    Will I continue to sell things and break the law, knowing I can't be stopped? I don't think so.

    I sincerely hope that it is repealed, amended, or whatever.

    The main thrust of the industries who want it amended (toysmakers, dressmakers, furniture manufacturers, printers, etc) is to permit composite testing instead of unit testing. They would be able to buy buttons, wood, paint, fabrics, nails, thread, paper, etc that are already certified according to the standards. That works well for companies who produced many of the same item (Gymboree, Hanna Anderson, Mattel, etc.) For a quiltmaker, that is just as impossible an idea, unless I make several of the same quilt, using only one or two fabrics - and if I never use any of the fabrics in my stash but only those purchased new after Nov 2008 and provided with the General Conformity Certificate (GCC). Articles would still have to be permanently labeled with the tracking code. So the proposed amendment would definitely benefit mass producers, but it wouldn't change the situation for people who do special orders or one-of-a-kind items.

    Resale in the form of garage sales, thrift stores and resale shops would be the easiest to make an amendment for, and I hope they do, but the special interest consumer groups are pushing very hard for the total elimination of those (potentially) lead-laden toys and garments currently in existence.

  25. #25
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Do you have a link to that exact law that is in effect right now? I really want to read it.

    Thanks

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