Saturday, January 3, 2009

HR 4040

Ok - so I couldn't just not post something about this.... it's not a family thing - but a random concern that has come up. So I'm just going to ramble and you decide for yourself what your opinion might be....

It's about HR 4040 - the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act. It was signed into law in August of 2008 and takes effect Feb. 10, 2009. Here's the deal..... It's a law that is meant to protect our kids with the noblest of intentions. Any toys, clothes - basically anything that is targeted for kids under 12 is required to be tested for lead and phthalets. Which is great - I want to know that Megan's toys and clothes aren't tainted with unsafe amounts of lead!!!!

The issue - it's a "backdated" law. I'm not sure how to say it other than that. What that means is that on Feb. 10th, any clothes, toys, baby gear, whatever... that hasn't been tested by a 3rd party is considered hazardous... and it's illegal to sell. It's not a law that says anything made after that date must meet these criteria... but anything that's sold (whether it's 1 month old or 1 year old). Something you buy on Feb 9th could be "hazardous" on Feb 10th.

OK - track with me here..... that means that anyone selling anything that is for kids under 12 has to have a certified letter that it's been tested by a 3rd party or else it's illegal..... SOOOOO - that means that anyone who sells this stuff on E-bay, Craigs list, at a craft fair, handmade clothes in a boutique, anything in the kid consignment stores and seasonal sales, thrift stores like Goodwill, on-line on Etsy, any on-line crafty salespeople (like the no slip hair bows) would be doing it illegally and could be seriously fined OR they have to get a 3rd party tester (which is thousands of dollars). Are you still tracking with me??? Kid to Kid is one of my favorite consignment shops and they've already said that unless some changes are made they will have to lock their doors and declare bankruptcy on Feb. 10th. That means anyone who's working on getting some of their kids clothes ready to consign this spring - may not be able to because it won't be legal.

Sound drastic.... I'm just telling you what I know.

I'm still chewing this over and trying to get my mind around it.

I'll be the first to say - I love consignment stores, Craigslist, garage sales, and thrift stores (heck, 95% of Megan's Christmas presents came from them - without them she wouldn't have gotton most of those toys). So - what's going to happen to them on 2/10/09?

I've checked out a lot of sources and listened to the news broadcasts talking about it - I am a little saddened that unless this is looked at more closely, my dear thrifty shopping days may be over. And during this economy, it's a little scary. What's going to happen to the Children's thrift stores that are the primary fundraising for charities?

Concerned??? Curious???? Think I'm totally making this up???

Here are some links to check it out for yourself.


Washington Business

Ebay forum

Columbus Dispatch
You can also click the blog link on the right to BabyCheapskate and they have an article.

I will say that am writing to my representatives (and the Pres.) about it because in as much as I want Megan to be "lead free"... I also realize that the cotton outfits I bought her at "Once Upon A Child" in MN this week probably aren't a threat enough that they would have needed to be thrown into a landfill on Feb 10th. And I was about to go through her stuff to consign some of it at upcoming Spring sales.... will those even happen? Bummer - where will her summer wardrobe come from?

Who knows how this will end up playing out... but it's food for thought!


Marianna said...

Jeremy told me about this last night, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think about it because I depend on used clothes, baby gear and toys. Not to mention that I have also been selling baby items on Craigslist. I never in my wildest dreams thought that something like this could happen. I know that are kids don't need toys like we think they do, so my biggest concern is clothing. It is so expensive! I am going to start praying now!

amy said...

well, poop, val. i had no idea that this was happening. no idea at all. i've been saving up melissa's newborn stuff to take to a consignment shop near me. does this mean the fbi might knock on my door soon?? i think that would really freak out my 80 year old neighbor across the street.

i will do some research on this too and write a firmly worded letter to the appropriate sources (right after i get done sending out my late christmas cards to the people who sent me their late christmas cards) (it's as if we are having a contest this year to determine who can be the latest christmas card sender outers).

fabulous christmas pictures! i can't wait until melissa is that age for christmas (well, actually, I can because right now she's not mobile, which means she's still manageable).

i go back to work tomorrow--my system is in shock. which is why i think i've been wasting all my time today on the internet. i have a ton to do to be ready before the alarm goes off (at a crazy 5:15 AM), but i am choosing to rebel instead.

happy new year!

Mitzi said...

I don't know how I missed this, but that kills my ebay store as well as the consignment sales I buy all the kids stuff out. This will SERIOUSLY impact our family's bottom line by thousands of dollars!!!! Praying and writing letters TODAY!!!