Monday, January 12, 2009


Now, normally I'm not the political type, and I've never been a social activist, but it's never too late to start. Here's the deal: The law is called HR4040 and it has a well meaning intent behind it. There was never any testing done on all those toys containing lead that came from China, so a lot of kids got hurt that shouldn't have. However, this law is all encompassing and doesn't have provisions for small business owners.
The law basically says: we want to protect our children by having EVERYTHING for children 12 and under tested for lead, and if it hasn't been tested for lead then as of Feb 10th, it will be banned and unlawful to sell. Now, there have been provisions made so that it isn't illegal for consignment shops and goodwill and garage sales to sell things and they don't have to produce documents as to the testing of items because hopefully they should have already been tested by the manufacturer.
But here's where it gets tricky. Libraries, day cares, pre schools and church nurseries aren't allowed to have anything that isn't up to current code, so technically all of their toys should be thrown out and they would have to buy new things. That is so outrageous that I just don't see this law holding up for very long without major changes to the wording. We all know that Libraries aren't going to throw away classic copies of children's books and we also know they aren't going to start banning children under 12.
I'm upset because I like to sew things/knit things and sell them to people online for a little spending money, and I don't want to be doing something illegal and have to black market my baby sweaters because it's unrealistic to expect me to send all my yarn out for third party testing. It's also going to shut down any small toymakers. But where do we draw the line? Should we get all MP3 players tested/all furniture tested...I know they aren't specifically made for children under 12, but I'd say there are lots of kids under 12 sitting on couches and listening to thier MP3 players.
If this irritates you as much as it does me, there is something we can do about it. Here are some links to websites with more specific information about this law as well as websites where you can email your representatives and ask them to take further action to get this law amended so that American small business owners have a chance in this day and age of over sized big box chain stores.
vote here to help bring top issues to the new president on inauguration day
write to your representative and ask him to take action to amend this law
learn more about this law and it's well meaning origins

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