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Consumer Product Improvement Act (2008)

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Blog entry by richgreer posted 1650 days ago 879 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As some of you may know, the Consumer Product Improvement Act of 2008 went into affect this month. It basically says that I am going to sell or even give away a product that is intended for children under 12 I have to demonstrate (with expense testing by an approved lab) that my product is safe. The burden of proof is on me to demonstrate that it is safe. It is not on the government to prove that it is unsafe. This feels like I am being presumed guilty until I can prove that I am innocent.

One of the greatest joys in my life is to give something that I made to a loved one, including nieces and nephews who are under 12. Recently, I made a beautiful cradle for a nephew and a music box for a niece. There is absolutely no question in my mind that these items are safe for children. Yet, this law, effectively says that I can’t do that anymore.

The target of this law was imported goods and products produced by large manufactures. However, the law is too sweeping and I and many others may be unintended victims of this law.

Are other LJs aware of this and what, if anything, are you doing about it?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.



13 comments so far

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3133 posts in 2221 days


#1 posted 1650 days ago

I am and I am not a happy camper. But on the upside they can’t keep up with all of us small shops.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View tooldad's profile

tooldad

657 posts in 2339 days


#2 posted 1650 days ago

was not aware of that. should be a minimum number of items, maybe 10 or so, before you are affected, IMO. However after some of the recent scares with the paints on some toys, this is understandable.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112008 posts in 2202 days


#3 posted 1650 days ago

It’s always something with the government. What’s next an underwear tax?

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3133 posts in 2221 days


#4 posted 1650 days ago

The Government had a Knee jerk reaction to the China incident.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View tooldad's profile

tooldad

657 posts in 2339 days


#5 posted 1650 days ago

probably, but it would need to be a backwards tax table. The less amount of thread used, the higher the tax. Keep the world from seeing too many cracks! lol

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1733 days


#6 posted 1650 days ago

They are still reviewing the law and the panel recommended much more specific limitations on what would be required to be tested. I am not letting it affect my gift giving, since I don’t really believe my kids will report me to the EPA. Besides, the knee jerk reaction is just ridiculous as the issue is more with imported goods. Seriously. Where the heck am I going to get lead paint?

David

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2630 days


#7 posted 1650 days ago

Heck a toy spinning top would be considered unsafe for kids today. What the hell went wrong to warrant a world with so many control freaks?

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1699 days


#8 posted 1650 days ago

The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) has advised that this law, as currently written, does apply to hobbyist who make gifts that are given to children under 12. However, I can’t envision them really enforcing this law when someone gives a nice, safe wooden toy to a friend or relative. The people that need to be the most concerned are those who make toys to sell at craft shows and other venues.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Billinmich's profile

Billinmich

235 posts in 2356 days


#9 posted 1650 days ago

What if you put not for use by children under 12 years of age ,do you still have to follow the rules?

-- Bill in Mich

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1699 days


#10 posted 1650 days ago

I’m not an attorney and I am not qualified to answer the question from Billnmich. Besides, I don’t know the answer. If you have concerns, I suggest you contact an attorney. Some of the organizations (the AAW in particular) have attorneys that are well versed on this issue and they can be contacted for no charge if you are a member).

Once a year I sell items at a craft fare sponsored by a charity that I support. All profits go to the charity. I am only reimbursed for the cost of materials. This year I plan to not make any items that are child oriented. I will focus on candle sticks, bowls, wine bottle stoppers, etc. It’s too bad because I know a lot of children enjoyed the handcrafted toys I made.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Icemizer's profile

Icemizer

88 posts in 2164 days


#11 posted 1650 days ago

From the CPSIA site: I donate the children’s products that I make to local charities and hospitals. Can I continue to send them my handmade donations?

Yes, you can make and donate children’s products to local charities and hospitals, if they are made of exempted materials or materials that you feel confident do not contain lead (see Table B). Children’s products made of yarn, dyed or undyed fabrics and natural materials such as untreated wood or cotton do not contain lead at levels sufficient to exceed the new lead limits.

If your products are made for children 12 and under, they will need to be third-party tested if you use paint or a similar surface coating (pdf). Products for children under 3 will need to be tested to the small parts standard (pdf) if you create a product (such as a toy, puzzle or doll) that could break into small pieces when used, dropped or otherwise handled by a child.

Avoid making and donating children’s products with soft vinyl or plastic, buttons or zipper pulls, or metal jewelry or embellishment or other pieces that may exceed the lead or phthalates limits.

and Table B referenced above.
Wood
Other natural materials such as coral, amber, feathers, fur, leather, etc.
Paper and other materials made from wood or cellulosic fiber
Dyed or undyed textiles (cotton, wool, hemp, nylon, yarn, etc.), including children’s fabric products, such as baby blankets, and non-metallic thread and trim. This does not include products that have rhinestones or other ornaments that may contain lead or that have fasteners with possible lead content (such as buttons, metal snaps, zippers or grommets).
Children’s books that use modern printing processes (CMYK process printing inks). This does not include any part of a book that may contain lead (plastic, metal, or painted parts, such as spiral binding)
Certain educational materials, such as chemistry sets
Precious gemstones: diamond, ruby, sapphire or emeralds
Semiprecious stones provided that the mineral or material is not based on lead and is not associated with any mineral based on lead
Natural or cultured pearls
Surgical steel and other stainless steel (except stainless steel designated as 303Pb)
Gold, of at least 10 karats
Silver, at least 925/1000 pure
Platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium, iridium, ruthenium, and titanium

-- Say what you mean and mean what you say.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1699 days


#12 posted 1650 days ago

Thank you Icemixer. I’m only hung up on 3 words, “similar surface coating”. I wonder if I use a very safe finish like Salad Bowl finish or mineral oil would that be considered a “similar surface coating”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View JamesVavra's profile

JamesVavra

286 posts in 1940 days


#13 posted 1650 days ago

I’m pretty sure that “paint or similar surface coating” and “untreated wood” mean that unless it’s bare, unfinished wood it needs to be tested. It’s a poorly written law and needs to be modified.

James

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