Friday, December 12, 2008

Clarification

I feel I should clarify a couple things about CPSIA (HR4040). I am not a lawyer. I do have a lawyer cousin, and I wish she had time to do a little charity work for me, but she's newly married and I'll *bet* she doesn't have time. ;) She reads my blog though, so I had to say that. LOL.

I wish I understood all the law parts of this law. Unfortunately I have to muddle through it like everyone else, plus I also have the benefit of reading from other people their thoughts. Of course, I don't know for sure anyone else's credentials. I have cited the forum Fashion-Incubator many times. The forum moderator over there, Kathleen F, is also the author of the National Bankruptcy Day blog. She met personally with the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, so I feel like she does have some credentials behind her. When I go read, like another small WAHM I know, I sure do feel like "a little fish in a BIG pond."

Textiles have been specifically excluded in part of the law. Under section 104 they are NOT considered durable goods. Section 104 applies to durable goods. Durable goods has been defined by the CPSC as having rigid parts. Ie: high chairs, strollers, cribs. Also they are considered to last a long time. Apparel and slings do not. However, section 104 applies ONLY to the testing for phthalates. Another important piece of information is that the phthalates law is not retroactive. Meaning it applies to new products going forward.

Section 101 is regarding lead testing. It *absolutely* applies to textiles and apparel as it stands right now. Not only that, but it is retroactive. Meaning, it applies to ANY children's products, not just newly manufactured ones. It applies to the dress you wore as a baby and was handed down. In my understanding (and I admit it is limited), this doesn't mean it is illegal for you to own these products and have them in your house, but rather when you are done with them YOU MAY NOT SELL THEM. They are garbage. In order to sell them, you must have a certificate showing that the products you wish to sell are in compliance with the lead limits laws. Thanks to Courtney for posting this link for me:
http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/advisory/320.pdf

"However, Congress stated that children's products that did not meet the new lead limits would be treated as "a banned hazardous substance" under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act as of February 10, 2009, and made it unlawful "to sell, offer for sale, manufacture for sale, distribute in commerce, or import into the United States" any banned hazardous substance."

Anyone breaking this law, even someone selling in the private sector such as a garage sale, can be indicted (is that the right word?) for breaking the law. As absurd as that seems, it *could* happen. Of course, I'm sure there will not be cops patrolling neighborhoods and shutting people down. The thought, the technical part of the law, is what scares me. Probably if you were a lawyer you would not dream of violating the law, because you would understand what I'm saying.

To reiterate: The lead limits DO apply to apparel. A representative on the phone (sorry, I know, no written proof) from CPS confirmed that they consider cloth diapers to be apparel. Even if they don't this law still impacts me, since I depend on the second-hand stores and garage sales to buy clothing and other items for my children.

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