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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As one person succinctly put it, "I don't care what CPSC requires, I only care what my customers do".

He's right. What CPSC says or wants doesn't matter. It only matters what his customers think the CPSC and the law say. Their definition is much stricter and streamlined (simplified).

In a nutshell, at least with regards to big box stores, the earliest deadline for lead testing is Feb 10 from a certified third party lab. This law is complex, retail doesn't understand it anymore than we do and they're simplifying acceptance procedures aligned to the regulations as they understand them. That the implementation deadlines are stepped along different time lines doesn't interest them because they buy/produce a lot differently than you do when you buy milk at the grocery store. They can't commit to buy a given lot of goods nine months in advance that will potentially have an expiration date looming a month or two away, not tenable. They're not going to be able to track this stock at x level at x days and then pull it from the shelves etc. So, they'll do all or nothing, whichever is the least risk and ambiguity. They need blanket procedures to follow.

So like I keep saying, this law hurts larger players more than smaller ones but nobody believes me, this is another way. Smaller players can continue to legally sell their goods subject to these nuances but for everyone else from producers to consumers, the defacto deadline is Feb 10th. I have comments regarding your other points but I'll save it for an entry.

NOTE: If anyone wants to amend their post, please hit the "edit button" at the above right of the posting window rather than tacking on two or three more entries, one loses the thread. "dd" please amend yours, in the end I lose your point. I put them all in to one to make it easier but I'm still turned around by the end.

Amended: Jennifer
You said dd is right but then the most recent entry on your blog says
Quote:
Existing inventory are those products already manufactured as of February 10, 2009. The products on store shelves, on trucks and in boats, and sitting in warehouses. According to an opinion issued by Cheryl Falvey, the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) general counsel, as of February 10, 2009, all children's products that do not achieve the 600 ppm standard are considered banned hazardous substances and cannot be sold or distributed in commerce. She states "[i]f children's products with more than 600 ppm of lead are to be treated as banned hazardous substances, then the ban is applicable to that at the effective date of that treatment regardless of the date of manufacture of the product." Her conclusion? "Products with more than 600 ppm of lead must come off the shelves no later than Febarury 10, 2009, 180 days after enactment."

So, this means all existing inventory as of that date must meet the standard or must be destroyed. The problem is how do retailers, distributors, and manufacturers demonstrate compliance for those products in inventory on February 10, 2009. Just simply testing all of the products in inventory is expensive, and duplicative, if 10 retailers test the same product.


Which seems like a contradiction (to agree with dd). How is what you wrote materially different from what I did? Minimally it is not surprising that amid all the complexity, retail stores will reduce this down to the simplest terms in order to understand and implement them meaning the strictest enforcement imaginable (to reduce their liability).
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CraftyChefGraphics
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frustrating indeed - I posted a thread over at Cafepress. There are plenty of people over there with kids shops and merchandise set up, marketing and/or redistributing kids clothing, stickers, hats and other things. The shopkeepers don't make the stuff, but many buy them at cost and sell at craft shows or do retail deals, and I believe marketing or attempting to sell uncertified merchandise is just as "criminal" as making the stuff, yes?

This is a very unique situation because Cafepress prints on things that aren't manufactured specifically for kids, but people create kids graphics and market the items from their own online store (hats, stickers, buttons, clocks, prints). One-off printing - Zazzle, Printfection, too...it will be interesting what their take on it is.

The forum moderator brushed it off. I'll keep trying over there.
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Esther
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Kathleen says, the retail stores have determined a simple rule - 3rd party certification by Feb 10, 2009. As a manufacturer of children's clothes that is the rule I would pick too. It's a cost question. At some point, and very soon after that deadline, we have to meet another standard. Do I pay for the testing now or later? Do I push the letter of the law (which is still be written) or the intent? Am I willing to play with fire and have special interest groups pointing at me saying I sell toxic products?

The testing labs will be, if they aren't already, overwhelmed. If you can get that certificate of conformity now, the better off you will be in meeting the standards or timeline that comes later.
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dd
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point is that if someone is going to go bankrupt on feb 10 because they cannot afford to test all their existing inventory at a lab even if they could get it all there in time.. Then if there are other alternatives out there as mentioned, they likely will pick that over bankruptcy. Whether or not their customers will accept that is another matter. But those who are actually facing these choices are fairly desperate so would appreciate that there may be other choices.
I am sorry but I think it is easier to talk about this in the grand scheme way some of you do when you are not actually facing bankruptcy yourselves.
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Vesta
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dd, what do you mean? Many of us are children's product manufacturers who are absolutely worried about financial viability as a result of this law. If all of my inventory becomes unsaleable as of Feb 10, that would bankrupt me. As an example, Wal-Mart has notified their vendors that they will be sending their children's products back to the manufacturer before Feb 10, to be tested and certified. They are not going to be left holding the bag when the law takes effect. They're not the only company looking at this option. Some of us sell children's products into very large retail stores/chains. Even if we know our products are safe, come Feb 10, there must be *proof* that it's safe. The ruling by CPSC's Falvey that the lead certification requirement is retroactive is one of the biggest problems with this legislation in the short term. Please poke around and see the discussions by the chairman of Learning Resources, if you need a deep understanding of the financial implications of this legislation, beyond the cost of testing and tracking going forward. The information is there. We're not being hysterical, if that's your implication.
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dd
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No implication, other then it appears that according to cpsc faqs, one could use xrf to test their existing inventory for lead with the way the law is on feb 10. This would save time and money. So in the event one's customers would accept this, this could be an alternative. That could be good news.

But if we are saying that there is only one way to go in order to promote the cause then those who are running out of time may be in trouble by feb 10 because we cannot control what congress is going to do or when. Not to say we should not keep trying our best.
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Vesta
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear you. What you say is reasonable. The problem is that the way the law is written, retailers are on the hook for the veracity of these claims. So it's looking like whoever is holding the inventory on Feb 10 is the potential loser. And big retailers have become very adept at staying out of those situations. Honestly, it's starting to look like the biggest losers on Feb 10 will be the biggest manufacturers. After Feb 10, it's just going to get a lot harder for everyone in the children's products arena.
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dd
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say, I am darn glad I am not dealing with a big retailer because don't they always win.. when dealing with their smaller suppliers?
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Vesta
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ga. Yes. I hate it, for the most part. Although there are some stores that are nice to deal with.

I think big retailers always win in dealing with most suppliers, even big ones. Have you ever read about the Wal-Mart/Vlasic debacle?

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Kathleen has mentioned previously, you have to worry about the individual customers too. While most of my customers would take my word that my garments are safe. What if just one customer has a child that gets sick and has the mentality that lawsuits are always the answer. Every business that has sold something to the customer for their child and doesn't have a government back lab certification is going to be in BIG trouble! My husband is a doctor, so trust me we here of lawsuits from his colleges every single day. 99.9% of them are just people that want money and will get it by any means necessary.

I know we all want to find a way around this law. Trust me, I just had a big trunk sale this weekend and it broke my heart to see people going through my designs like vultures. But at the end of the day we have to look at the big picture and that includes individual customers trying to sue us because this law just opened all of us up to that.
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dd wrote:
No implication, other then it appears that according to cpsc faqs, one could use xrf to test their existing inventory for lead with the way the law is on feb 10. This would save time and money. So in the event one's customers would accept this, this could be an alternative.

But the issue is, their customers won't accept this. Testing one's own inventory vs the 3rd party testing are two different animals. And yeah, pushing for use of those guns is but one aspect of this but it's not approved at this time. Even Jennifer mentions she has the capacity to do this testing but it is not certified as required.
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dd
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there not validity to this cpsia faq as it applies to feb 10. since all that is required on feb 10 is a general conformity certificate?

Can XRF technology be used to support general conformity certification as to lead paint or lead content limits?

Yes. Where third-party testing by an accredited laboratory is required as the basis for certification, that testing cannot be based on XRF technology at this time; however, XRF testing, either by a manufacturer or by a laboratory, may serve as the basis for general conformity certification. Manufacturers are cautioned, however, to be careful in their use of XRF for this purpose given the difficulties in screening for lead in paint with that technology.
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J C Sprowls



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the CPSIA over-writting the FAQ document? IOW: Are all the revisions falling off to the wayside? Do we need to print the PDF each time we visit the site and then look for changes *before* we read the new stuff?
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Esther
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the XRF guns do is indicate which items need further testing. They will not bring you into compliance or be good enough for certification. Woldenberg talks about this very thing in his videos. Sorry, why pay someone (or buy an x-ray gun at the tune of $50,000, plus training and safety precautions) to see what needs more testing. It doesn't tell the PPM. Just send the darn stuff to the lab and be done with it.
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dd
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xrf will likely be approved in the future for certified lead in substrate testing, and yes, it does tell you ppm. Actually if you go on cpsia and watch the xrf videos, they claim that in many instances, xrf gives a more accurate picture then other methods.

Believe me, I am not an xrf salesperson. I am just trying to look at possibilities.
If only it were so easy to send the darn stuff off to a lab and be done with it. That is the main point, Waldenburg was trying to make. And I really applaud him and his efforts by the way.
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