Worried about lead poisoning in your children's library books? No? Good! You shouldn't be. Worried about lead poisoning in your handmade Kung Fu Bambini couture? No? Good! You shouldn't be. Worried about lead poisoning in the law? Well, you might want to think long and hard on that one. The CPSIA is poison, a much more damaging poison than you could ever find in a single garment that ever came from my hands. The CPSIA has put me and countless others out of business and your local school library might be next.
YOU NEED TO KNOW: Taken directly from a statement issued by the American Library Association on January 22nd, 2009.
"Under the current opinion issued by the General Counsel of the CPSC, the law would apply to books for children under the age of 12; therefore, public, school, academic and museum libraries would be required to either remove all their children’s books or ban all children under 12 from visiting the facilities as of February 10."
Proponents of this law need to swallow their pride and realize that it was poorly written and that putting all of the power in the hands of two overwhelmed, unelected officials is mind boggling. I am ALL FOR lead testing in products that necessitate it, but books? handmade cotton apparel? wooden toys? It is absurd. And their lack of guidance or action is shameful and irresponsible. With every passing day more and more damage is done to the economy, businesses and families.
So, as I briefly mentioned before, I am closing due to the CPSIA. It is official, Violet [handmade boutique] will be closing as of January 31, 2009 and I will not sell any children's items past February 9th, 2009 until after this fiasco is straightened out, IF it is ever straightened out.
After February 9th, 2009 it is illegal for me to sell children's products that have not been tested for lead. GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT! I do not have the investment capital to become compliant. It is not even financially feasible to sustain a business and test as much as is necessary for CPSIA compliance.
I have been asked why I am not waiting it out longer.. a large amount of my income comes from wholesale orders from stores other than my own. Although I scaled back greatly in the last year, the wholesale orders are still the bread and butter of my income. The CPSIA attacked a market segment of boutiques that were already adjusting to a devastating economy and then to be hit with CPSIA legislation at their weakest time has caused them to stop buying almost at once. Even products that are completely compliant have taken major sales hits because retail stores are scared.
And who can blame them? With absolutely no guidance from the CPSC and nothing but fear being projected onto them by trade magazines such as Earnshaw's (who should be ASHAMED of themselves), our Spring wholesale orders were almost entirely canceled. I had to stop production immediately. That Spring line would have been beautiful too! I think it is my best design work yet and it is all worthless now. All the time and energy to design the entire line, source the fabrics, trims and dyes, sketch, design and size grade the patterns, all of it completely worthless. And the CPSIA could care less about me and thousands of other businesses that never harmed or would have harmed anyone.
The CPSIA has put me out of business. Exit stage left.
What YOU can do. Read this article and this article and then call Henry Waxman. The US Government still operates by phone. Call, call, and call again. Tell him the deadline needs to be extended. Tell him how devastating this will be to libraries and children. Tell him to call a Committee meeting. It is really our only hope.
Henry A. Waxman
2204 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-0530
Phone: (202) 225-3976