Congress passed a CPSIA amendment earlier this month (finally, and yay)! Fortunately, they passed the House version and not the Senate version! (My Senator, Grassley, had been telling me that they were working on an amendment and it would address many of my concerns, and I kept reading the Senate version and wondering what the heck he was talking about.)
I’ve been waiting to hear from a few industry associations before commenting too much on it, just to make sure my impressions of the amendment are in keeping with what other people seem to think, too. While I’m still waiting to hear from the Real Diaper Industry Association (no surprise), I’ve now had an opportunity to read the thoughts of the Handmade Toy Alliance, the JPMA, and the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance.
The main thing I’ve been hearing from various people is that there’s an exemption for small batch manufacturers from the testing requirements. That is not actually in the law. The law does contain a provision that the CPSC must investigate ways to allow small batch manufacturers to comply without breaking the bank; barring that, they may allow an exemption to small batch manufacturers (who would then have to register with CPSC to take advantage of the exemption). So, that’s good news, but only sort of good news. Personally, I’m still rooting for component testing.
(Plus, small batch manufacturers are defined as making under $1 million per year, so they’re still talking about what is affordable to someone making, you know, many many times over what I’m making per year. Because, no, I’m not even close to $1 million.)
Here are a few good links to check out:
The other good news:
– categorical exemptions for certain products like ATVs and dirt bikes.
– exemptions for violations of the lead limit if the lead is necessary for the product to function. (As is the case with the lead in children’s bikes, for example. From what I’ve read from that industry, if you take the lead out of the spokes of wheels, the wheels will collapse and injure the child.)
– exemption for used children’s products (except, I believe, in the case of a resale shop, where the products are purchased for the purpose of reselling).
– application of future lowered lead limits only prospectively, rather than retroactively.
Bizarrely, I don’t think there is still anything that exempts Aunt Suzie from the law. You know, Aunt Suzie knits your newborn a hat. Technically, that hat is subject to CPSIA compliance. Ridiculous, right? Clearly not intended. But an example of the crap that goes on in Congress, where apparently NOBODY bothers to read things before passing them, and a majority of people are lacking sufficient brain cells.