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ACTIVISM: Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
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J C Sprowls



Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 2004

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides that, please note that adult wearing apparel is consider out of scope; and, children's wearing apparel is squidgy.

That said, you have the option of carving your product lines where it makes sense. So, while there are squidgy areas, you have the option to avoid the philosophical debate (e.g. drop baby bibs and pick up a different complimentary product).

Another area are the "mated" styles where you sell a toy paired with a garment. Put them in different boxes with different hangtags and the garment should no longer be considered a toy.

Golly... now it's turning into a packaging debate.
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Anne
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: phthalates, I cannot believe they consider clothes that a child wears while sleeping as meant to "facilitate sleep." When I first read the "meant to facilitate feeding or sleeping." it was clear to me that they were referring to pacifiers. Phthalates occur in plastics. This judgment just seems completely off-base to me, to decide that a pair of pajamas "facilitates" sleep.
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J C Sprowls



Joined: 25 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

~bites tongue~
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Esther
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of apparel/textile items that would be considered needing to facilitate sleep!

So the items that need testing for pthalates:

Items to facilitate sleep
blankets
sheets
pillows
pillow cases
sleepers
pj's
lounge wear
robes?

Child care articles
baby carriers (slings, et. al.)
bibs
burp cloths
diapers?

Am I missing anything?

I found the statement amusing on how the CPSC would determine on a case by case basis whether a costume would need to be tested. Especially when just a few weeks ago they complained about the number of requests they had received on various products.

What a mess!
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michael.martinez
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When confronted with a crisis (and, this is a crisis) there are really only two options: get over it, or under it. And, in my mind, that means we have two options when it comes to this Act. Either we: a) offer a better, more articulate alternative (i.e. develop a best practice), or b) react in a silo when/if our companies are caught.

Most of my customers have told me that they prefer option B because they know it will cost money to comply. They also feel it will be easier to wait until they're caught because the CPSC will be forced to tell them at that time what they need to do to come into compliance. IOW: the costs - when they are incurred - are likely to be cheaper than the time and money invested in chasing after interpretations that might be overturned when the CPSC audits the company.


Obtion B is the most common sense approach IMO. This may be a big deal, but there are bigger issues to worry about at this time. I wouldn't be surprised to see the CPSC budget cut by 80% or more in the coming WEEKS if not MONTHS...
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be posting some clarifications for better or worse today.

As I mentioned in another thread, I was contacted by Virgina Postrel (author of several books) who writes for Atlantic Monthly. We spoke yesterday. She asked me for the "stand on one foot" explanation. Ugh, too hard. She has to get approval for the story from higher ups. Another downside or maybe it's fortuitous, her article will appear in the edition that reaches subscribers on February 10th.
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Anne
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just found this proposal from the Handmade Toy Alliance:

http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/Home/our-proposal-to-modify-the-cpsia

Edited to add: They link to F-I on their page, so maybe this link has been posted before... this thread is so long now, though, that I didn't see it right away. Sorry if a repeat!
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annika
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

miracle wrote:

Honestly, everybody is getting called on the carpet due to the irresponsibility of the few. It's unfortunate, but some of the things that happened were so egregious that it could no longer be ignored.

Add that to the fact that we live in a litigious society and now look where we are.

IMO, and this is just MO, I think it's more prudent to push for an adoptable standard that can be applied to the supply chain. Not to alleviate people like us of responsibility, but to ensure that we're not unnecessarily testing the same item multiple times.

In that instance, then your completed item would then be subject to the tests that were still applicable.


This is how I feel as well. I don't need exemptions, but I would really like someone to start using common sense. I think that component supplier should do the testing and provider results certs to anyone who buys the component. It is redundant and wasteful for 1,000 customers buying a certain fabric to test it 1,000 times and does not result in increase safety, only more money going to testing labs. Then we, as manufacturers, should bear the cost of testing completed products against applicable ASTM standards for that product class.

What I find infuriating about this entire process is the lack of clear, concise information and a live person to ask for clarification. I can't fathom how if you got a person with a brain on the phone that they wouldn't agree that component manufacturers being liable for component testing and product manufacturers being liable for end product testing is not reasonable and in serving the interests of public safety in a manner that we can live with both as people and businesses.
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Valerie Burner
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly what I was thinking when I read this article in The Health Ranger's enewsletter today. It also showed me how, when you narrow it down to just toys and go after the big manufacturers, it all looks so justified in the public's eyes. They are, once again, forgetting about the other aspects of this issue- if they were even considered in the first place. Health Ranger let me down this time...

http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000583_phthalates_toxic_chemicals_childrens_toys.html
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joseph wrote:
The gross lack of consideration to small manufacturers makes me think that the only segments of industry who were able to make themselves heard by lobbying fully intended to reduce competition from small-scale manufacturers. This is an aggressively political spin on the situation that might get more people interested.

Okay, that stuff from the toy alliance just lacks credibility. Unfortunately, they've been effective in appealing to the sentiment that this is something that disproportionately benefits large manufacturers at the expense of small ones. Please, stop it, stop it now. The adage "the bigger they are, the harder they fall" is truer here than ever. If anything, this will hurt large manufacturers more than small ones. Small ones, being small and being closer to the customer can sell product in defiance of the law and I'm sure many will.
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Esther
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The gross lack of consideration to small manufacturers makes me think that the only segments of industry who were able to make themselves heard by lobbying fully intended to reduce competition from small-scale manufacturers. This is an aggressively political spin on the situation that might get more people interested.


This is the current feeling at Etsy in regards to the CPSIA. Really, it's a major theme at Etsy that all manufacturers are evil.
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mollyodesigns
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone tell me if we are allowed to post the letter in this thread on our blogs, etc.? I would like to encourage designers outside of this board to send it on as well. But I didn't want to post without permission.

Thanks!
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joseph wrote:
Please do not assume that my entire understanding of this topic is informed by the "homemade toy alliance". Do you really think I'm that dense?

No I don't. I'm sorry for taking my frustrations out on you but I'm still confused by what you intended to say.

Quote:
In the long term this is just giving an unnecessarily higher $$$ entry point to entrepreneurs and a cost that makes manufacturing children's products only profitable in mass-distribution models.

Can you please explain your logic on this one? If you can distribute the cost of testing over a large number of units you might still be able to make money. Assuming you haven't been driven out of business by your current stock becoming worthless.

You're exactly right in that it raises the barre, the entry point will be too much for most entrants. However, most of the existing manufacturers will also be driven out of business for ...boy... a lot more reasons than I'd thought of before I went to that meeting! I don't know how much I can say. Some stuff I KNOW I can't say, like specifically which manufacturers told me point blank they're shutting down if there's no rescind. Really shocking.

Quote:
Not to mention that appealing to people's theoretical affinity for the underdog (small manufacturers) is going to be a lot more compelling than a whole bunch of people perceived as trying to protect the rights of big scary manufacturers to make all their children's products out of lead and other deadly chemicals...

I still think this is unprofessional and we lose credibility. I wrote a rant on it over here. CPSIA Activists hurting the cause.

esther wrote:
This is the current feeling at Etsy in regards to the CPSIA. Really, it's a major theme at Etsy that all manufacturers are evil.

I've been getting crap like that for years about you guys, small companies with a large-r reputation so they just assume you're big and evil. It's really annoying.
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Miracle
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Joined: 13 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kathleen,

I'd really like to know which legislators were behind this act, is there any way to get the information easily?

Would we also be able to find out who, in industry, appeared at any hearings that were held, if any were held?

I tried to get this information, but I don't know enough about searching for it to find it easily.

While I am not going to go into big guy vs small guy, I'd be really interested to find out if any special interest groups lobbied for this.
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, this I do have or can get it. I have this big thick book they gave everyone.
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