Do you remember all of the toy recalls that happened not too long ago because they contained high levels of lead? In response to those recalls, Congress passed a law last August called the CPSIA. The CPSIA is a law making it tougher to sell toys and other children's items that contain lead. The basic idea behind the law is a good thing. However, as a result of this law any crafter or stay-at-home artisan who makes items for kids under 12-- from clothing to toys to school supplies - must have their items tested to the tune of $400-$4000 per item. Since most crafters cannot afford those kinds of fees, this means tens of thousands of stay-at-home moms and small home-based businesses may be forced out of business come February 10, the official "mandatory compliance" date set by the law.
There have been some changes to the original law that are a step in the right direction and that help keep re-sale stores and crafters that use natural items in their original form in business. However, the law still needs more changes to clarify and further protect crafters and artisans.
Want to help? Visit the Handmade Toy Alliance to find a letter you can send to your Congressmen and Senators and more information about the original law, the changes that have been made, and the changes that still need to be made. Sign a petition to save handmade here. Visit the Etsy Forum for discussion between crafters regarding the law and compliance.