In response to recent concerns about the safety of toys (lead-based paint etc.), legislation has been drawn up that stupidly makes it almost impossible for small toy makers or small artists to create toys, clothes, quilts, or anything that I know and love.
The process that it would take for small companies and Etsy crafters to test all of their toys is prohibitive.
From the folks at Cool Mom Picks:
“Moms who sew beautiful handmade waldorf dolls out of home, artists who have spent decades hand-carving trucks and cars out of natural woods, that guy at the craft show who sold you the cute handmade puzzle—even larger U.S. companies who employ local workers and have not once had any sort of safety issue will no longer be able to sell their toys. Not without investing tens of thousands of dollars into third-party testing and labeling, just to prove that toys that never had a single chemical in them still don’ t have a single chemical in them. In other words, handmade toys will now be illegal.”
Etsy has also released on open letter obviously in defense of all the craftspeople that use Etsy.com! WalletPop has some more information here pointing out that the new legislation will make it way to expensive to buy handmade anymore.
Dumb! Prepare for a vent folks, but with all love to my fellow moms … we tend to be a bit neurotic about toys. Frankly our kids are probably not going to sit chewing on a toy long enough to get lead poisoning anyway. If you’re worried about toys, have you thought about checking the bottom to see where it’s made? And can’t you really just tell when something’s well made and when it’s crap (the kind of junk that’s broken in a week … or a day) anyway?
Legislation is good, but common sense is better. Legislation can hurt innocent people and in this time of economic angst, why would we be taking away possible second incomes, success stories from work at home parents, and any small cottage industry.
So, if I’ve successfully fired you up, here’s what to do:
- Find your congress person and senators and write a letter like the sample here, particularly if they serve on the consumer protection subcommittee.
- Send a letter directly to the CPSC.
Go get ’em craft bloggers—this is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Lets tell them what we think!