The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that has been drawn up and will go into effect as law as of February 10, 2009 that will require any and all items to be certified free of lead and phtalates. This testing is expensive and will surely put most crafters and artists out of business if we are required to certify everything we make. There is a rumor that this will exclude one of a kind items, but for the home crafter and artist, what does this mean exactly? These are some of the things you will read right now regarding this new law, but what is the truth to these rumors?
Handmade items can almost all be considered one of a kind since even very similar items do contain small differences. This is part of the handcrafting process. Just how far you can take the one of a kind premise remains, however, to be seen.
This act, most importantly for most of us, focuses almost exclusively on children's products, and mostly those products which can be placed,all or in part, in a child's mouth.So for those of us who make art or craft products, such as cards, jewelry, etc. Will for the most part be completely unaffected by this new law. If you have any hesitations about whether your product falls under this new law, you can place a disclaimer on it stating "This product not intended for use by persons under 12 years of age."
While I was immediately upset when I heard all the hoopla about The Consumer Safety Improvement Act, I got on the web and read the articles about the ramifications of this new law, then most importantly, I read the Act itself. A very long, very dry read to be sure, but it put most of my fears to rest as it does not seem to be what some of the articles made it out to be, but more of a furthering of existing laws meant to protect our children.
While some of the articles sound as if all artists and crafters will be put immediately out of business and forced into bankruptcy and poverty, I read it more as purely a safety precaution and a good reason to keep thorough records of supplies I buy and where I buy them and not an instant ticket to homelessness.
I advise everyone to read the Act in its entirety if you have any misgivings as to what it will mean to you as I did, but mostly not to panic over the internet hype that is being thrown around out there. Yes, there are some crafters it will impact in a small way, but not to the extent some people are afraid it will.
To read this act, go to Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act