Saturday, February 07, 2009

CPSIA Updates

Well, there is good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news, then we can end on a good note, ok?

The LA Times reported that a federal judge overturned a ruling the CPSC had made. A special interest group apparently sued because the panel had said that the phthalates ruling should not be retroactive. Meaning, as long as a product was made before February 10, 2009, it could still be sold and not subject to the new bans. After the judge's ruling, that part of the law is now retroactive. :( Boo!

What is so hard about parents being able to make decisions for themselves??? I mean, no one is out there banning BPA's, right? But yet bottle makers are proudly displaying their bottles that say BPA-free and parents are scrambling to snatch them up! Parents who want products free of phthalates will be cautious to purchase items made after February 10th.

Ok, on to good news. Yesterday the CPSC issued a statement explaining how they plan to enforce the new law. They clearly said in the statement, well, nevermind, I'll just copy and paste it:

Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers should also be aware that CPSC will:

  • Not impose penalties against anyone for making, importing, distributing, or selling

    • a children’s product to the extent that it is made of certain natural materials, such as wood, cotton, wool, or certain metals and alloys which the Commission has recognized rarely, if ever, contain lead;
    • an ordinary children’s book printed after 1985; or
    • dyed or undyed textiles (not including leather, vinyl or PVC) and non-metallic thread and trim used in children’s apparel and other fabric products, such as baby blankets.

      (The Commission generally will not prosecute someone for making, selling or distributing items in these categories even if it turns out that such an item actually contains more than 600 ppm lead.)

    Sellers will not be immune from prosecution if CPSC’s Office of Compliance finds that someone had actual knowledge that one of these children’s products contained more than 600 ppm lead or continued to make, import, distribute or sell such a product after being put on notice. Agency staff will seek recalls of violative children’s products or other corrective actions, where appropriate.

  • Ok, so what that means is this: if you fall into one of the categories, the CPSC is NOT going to prosecute you. I will try hard to stay on top of what all this means specifically to me and the products I make, but it sure does sound SO good. Also, Senator DeMint introduced an amendment to the CPSIA, but they tacked it on to the economic stimulus bill. Oh the irony! We'll have to stay posted on that one.

    In other good news, my serger is finally home, 3.5 weeks later. At first they told us the part cost almost $80. I sent Mitch in to talk to them since he originally purchased the serger and it came with a gold star warranty. I checked the Baby Lock website and apparently the gold star warranty still covers parts on my machine. So he went in. There was some mix-up with the warranty, but the store owners agreed to "eat" the cost and pay for the part themselves. I have so many mixed feelings about this. First of all, I love the store--they are Christian-owned and proudly display it throughout the store. Obviously by their actions they operate according to their convictions. On the other hand, it ALWAYS seems like when I have to take a machine in, it's there and often forgotten for much longer than necessary. It turns out that it just took THAT long to get the part in this time, but why does it always take so long? I also feel guilty that they ate the cost of the part. This is the second repair on my machine that they've done that. :( It feels especially bad since *I* did it. It would feel a lot better if the larger parent company were the one fulfilling the warranty. Still, it was sold to us WITH the warranty, and I have the receipt to prove it. I don't want to feel like I am taking advantage of the business, and I greatly appreciate their work, but I also feel like I got what I deserve. Oh well, we've bought two machines there and two vacuum cleaners...these aren't "cheap" I'm sure they've still profited from us. :)

    Ok, breakfast is over and I'm off to sew. We had so many ups and many more downs it seems like this week...I definitely need an "up." Oh--one more thing--I have updated my Pampered Cheeks website with my pattern info. I haven't put the patterns for sale in my store yet. I'm planning on doing a presale--where I take orders for a couple weeks, then fulfill the orders. I'm going to run the presale at the same time as I run a coop. I'm hoping that I can get orders for over 100 patterns, as it will be cheaper to print them at that volume. Then I will reinvest the profits and order more patterns. When that happens, then I will have an inventory of patterns that will ship as soon as they are purchased. The retail cost of the pattern will be $13/each. Please go look at my patterns! I also got to struggle through writing a cottage license agreement (all those legal terms--yuck!). This will allow someone to purchase a cottage industry license from me, then they can make diapers from my patterns for sale. They can also use certain trademarks so that customers can identify the "brand" and know that they can trust the fit of the diapers. My main reason for making the patterns was so I could do this. To be honest, I really don't like making the AI2's. I'm hoping that someone else will want to take on these popular diapers and make them. :)


    1. Wow, that amendment is even better than I was hoping for! Even if things sold are over they aren't going to penalize. Hmm.. interesting.
      What does that mean for your snaps? Or has that manufacturer said they don't contain lead?

    2. I have heard, but not seen proof, that KAM has tested the snaps for lead AND issued the certificates saying so. I need to follow up to get proof for sure, but for now I am trusting the sources. :) One other concern I have is if the PUL I use has vinyl binders in the polyurethane layer. It probably doesn't, and I know others have received certification from the company, so I'm not sure if I need to do more follow up on that or just call it "good." I don't want customers to think I am not taking it seriously, but I think all these little loose ends are so very, very minor and not worth a *whole* lot of my time right now. I will continue to closely follow the message boards where other manufacturers are sharing their test results, etc,...that will help me a ton.

    3. Good news! I didn't realize your serger didn't cost anything to "bail out". Very nice -- but I agree that it seems a bit unfair to the vacuum center. :( Off to read your latest post!