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Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 06-14-2010 02:16 PM 1486 views 1 time favorited 55 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4525 posts in 1798 days


06-14-2010 02:16 PM

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 imposes some strict requirements on products made for children under 12 years old. It requires that these products be tested by an approved lab (at the manufactures expense) and certified that they do not contain any hazardous materials. This law went into effect in February of this year.

The law was written too broadly and most attorneys agree that it applies to products manufactured by home hobbyists in their workshops. Furthermore, most attorneys believe it applies to products that are given as gifts as well as products that are sold.

I’m sure most home hobbyists could get by “flying under the radar screen” but they would still be, technically, breaking the law and their is a remote risk that they could get caught.

I’ve never done much toy making. I have decided that from now on, I am not doing any toy making.

I’m curious about how other people feel about this issue.

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


55 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

5933 posts in 2152 days


#1 posted 06-14-2010 02:19 PM

I think it’s like using a 12 gauge to kill roaches.
I still make unfinished toys.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Knothead62

2364 posts in 1685 days


#2 posted 06-14-2010 05:25 PM

Like the funniest joke: I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. Does the government really think that a hobbyist toy maker is going to spend hundreds of dollars to have a toy certified? Why not have the finishes certified and let the toy makers use a certified finish? Or are there finishes that are already approved for use on wood toys?
Rich, thanks for the info.
Gene, good idea!

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poopiekat

3710 posts in 2458 days


#3 posted 06-14-2010 05:39 PM

Knot.. a great idea, about certified finishes, BUT… this bit of legislation encompasses clothing, kid’s furniture, and myriad other things that might pose the slightest risk for toxicity, choking, suffocation, falls, and other injuries. Perhaps eventually even that toy wooden truck with the child-safe finish will be outlawed, because it may be used as a projectile with which one child could hit another on the noggin. A slippery slope, indeed.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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schloemoe

691 posts in 1662 days


#4 posted 06-14-2010 05:49 PM

It’s just another case of the gov. trying to protect us from ourselves.I think it’s stupid….............Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www. woodrehab.blogspot.com

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richgreer

4525 posts in 1798 days


#5 posted 06-14-2010 06:25 PM

I agree with all comments made. But, the fact remains, this law is for real. The original intent was to regulate manufactured items coming from China. However, it was written overly broad and it snags everyone into its net.

I have written Senator Harkin because he is one of my senators and he was instrumental in this legislation. His response was not very encouraging. He didn’t appear to recognize the impact on hobbyist like myself.

I am a member of 2 woodworking clubs. One is a turning club and the other focuses on flat work. One club is very concerned about this and they will not allow any child oriented products to be sold at their craft fare booth. The other club is pro-actively making toys that they will donate to a charity at Christmas time.

I personally favor a more cautious approach. Why take the risk?

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

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tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1710 days


#6 posted 06-14-2010 06:42 PM

This has been a hopping topic over on Etsy.. where a LOT of people make things for children. The general opinion seems to be using previously certified items is “okay”.

I don’t/did not have any interest in making toys, or things for children, so I have not paid much attention to it.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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EEngineer

906 posts in 2337 days


#7 posted 06-14-2010 07:07 PM

Oh, this is sad!

It was quite a while ago, but I do remember what I was doing at the age of 8 or 9, far below the limit of 12 years that this legislation concerns it self with.

I had wired my first short-wave radio from a Heathkit. Oh hell, that involves using a soldering iron, working with electricity and using lead-based solder; I am sure none of that is acceptable.

One of my favorite toys was an erector set, you know, one of the old fashioned ones with nuts and screws and metal girders. Choking hazards, sharp metal pieces that were probably chrome plated to keep corrosion down. Oh, horrors, today’s children must be protected from all of that!

I worked in both my father’s and my grandfather’s shop using wood-chisels, drills and bandsaws. I wasn’t allowed to use the table saw or jointer or shaper but that was as much because I wasn’t tall enough as much as how dangerous they were. By 12 or 13, I had the run of every tool in the shop.

At 9 or 10, my grandfather took me behind the barn and taught me to shoot with a .22. Heavy dose of gun safety was included. That fall, I went with him, my father and cousins to hunt pheasant in the fields with a .410 shotgun.

Ya know, it’s a wonder I ever made it to 57 without my gummint looking out for me!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View huff's profile

huff

2808 posts in 2009 days


#8 posted 06-14-2010 07:14 PM

I built a baby crib years ago for a customer and by the time I finished reading all the restrictions and liabilties from the child protection agency, I was scared to death. That was the last piece of furniture I every built for children. (That was 15 years ago)...........can’t imagine what the new laws are like. All it will take is one unsatisfied customer (no matter for what reason) and I can see a terrible law suite.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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Mary Anne

1057 posts in 1932 days


#9 posted 06-14-2010 07:50 PM

Do you have a link that has more specific information from a reliable source? Going on the opinion of “most attorneys” is kind of vague for me to get all up in arms about.

Specifically, how is “hazardous materials” defined in the Act? Does it address things like poisoning our kids (and pets) with melamine like we got with the Chinese imports? That is not such a bad thing, is it? Using only products and finishes that the manufacturers have had certified doesn’t sound like such a big deal to me. In fact, it sounds like a good thing. Too bad lead paint and asbestos weren’t tested and banned earlier.

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tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1710 days


#10 posted 06-14-2010 08:02 PM

Mary Anne, it is a very good thing – that was just implemented poorly.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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poopiekat

3710 posts in 2458 days


#11 posted 06-14-2010 08:08 PM

to MaryAnne and others: you can easily get the content of the law in .pdf format, if you’re willing to learn.. http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/legislation.html here is a link to a fascinating article in Forbes…if you’ve got the curiosity: http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html It’s not right to blow off richgreer’s worthy comments with your dismissive attitude. If you’ve ever sold, gifted or donated your handcrafted items, you could be subject to criminal liability on top of civil actions. I salute richgreer for his efforts to make us all more aware of harsh, draconian regulations.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Mary Anne

1057 posts in 1932 days


#12 posted 06-14-2010 08:23 PM

Thank you, Lis.

Easy there, poopiekat. While I admire you for standing up for Rich and his worthy comments, there is no need for you to go making assumptions about my attitude. Sorry if it looked to you like I was blowing off his or anyone else’s comments. I am quite sure Rich would not have started this thread if he did not have valid concerns.

I simply asked for more information than he provided in the original post. I don’t like going off half cocked without being fully informed. I’ll check out the link you provided. Thanks.

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poopiekat

3710 posts in 2458 days


#13 posted 06-14-2010 08:33 PM

Ok, Mary Anne. Mostly I was reacting to the fully expected backlash one can expect when they provide valuable, but disturbing information. Since you weren’t seemingly aware of the law, I’d say indeed your comment above was half-cocked. It’s happened to me several times in the LJ forums. Rich’s worrys are NOT about China, but that the legislation aimed primarily at China applies as well to American citizens who make anything for anybody. That includes you! Once you read the info in the link, you might well find it terrifying. Off the top of my head I can think of dozens of people crushed by well-intentioned government regulations gone amuk. Rock on.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Mary Anne

1057 posts in 1932 days


#14 posted 06-14-2010 09:00 PM

Poopiekat, I am interested in what Rich was talking about. That is why I responded with a question.

I will not be dragged into an idiotic pissing match with you judging my motives or attitudes… I will blow off those comments. Yes, I’ve seen the discussions in LJ forums, and I will not participate or further respond. Let’s stick to the topic at hand, shall we?

Thank you for the links. I don’t put much store in “commentary” pieces as the one in Forbes, but I will read the text of the CPSIA this evening and see if I can find other sources as well.

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Knothead62

2364 posts in 1685 days


#15 posted 06-15-2010 01:18 AM

poopiekat, if my wife makes a dress for our grandaughter, where does that put her? Are we supposed to look for or request information that shows the fabric meets standards as set by this law that Rich is referring to? Sort of like having MSDS stuff in a business?
I appreciate having this information. However, it is typical of government, reacting in a knee-jerk fashion before thinking about any generated effects.

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