Consumer Groups To Obama: Please Put Someone With A Brain In Charge Of The CPSC

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the upcoming implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The law requires that all children’s products be tested for lead and has caused a major freak out amongst librarians (who don’t really want to test their books for lead, or ban children from the library) and thrift stores (who can’t afford to test used toys for lead). Apparently, according to consumer groups that support the bill, the CPSC is supposed to be monitoring this situation and adding exceptions as needed, but has been ignoring the issue. Now those groups are asking President Obama for a change of leadership within the CPSC. Read their letter inside.

Just a little background: The CPSC is currently being run by Acting Chair, Nancy Nord, a Bush appointee who took over the agency after Bush nominee and former manufacturing industry lobbyist Michael Baroody bailed just one day before a scheduled Senate confirmation hearing. It was speculated at the time that Baroody didn’t want to discuss his $150,000 severance bonus from his employer, the National Association of Manufacturers.

Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Kids in Danger National Consumers League, National Research Center for Women & Families, Public Citizen and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group write:

January 30, 2009

The President of the United States

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

As leaders of organizations dedicated to protecting consumers from the hazards posed by unsafe products, we are writing to urge you to move quickly to put in place new leadership at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

As you know, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008, after many months of discussion, multiple hearings, and input from stakeholders. The law was passed in both chambers by huge bipartisan margins: 89-3 in the Senate and 424-1 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bipartisan CPSIA makes consumer products safer by requiring, for the first time, that toys and infant products be tested for safety before they are sold, and by banning lead and phthalates in toys. The law also creates the first comprehensive publicly-accessible consumer complaint database, authorizes for the CPSC the resources it needs to protect the public, increases civil penalties that CPSC can assess against violators of laws, and protects whistleblowers who report product safety defects. This law is a strong, effective and much-needed solution to the persistent problems plaguing our product safety system.

Unfortunately, the current CPSC leadership, which is responsible for implementing this critical new law, has delayed taking the necessary steps to ensure its successful implementation. As a result, the agency has not properly addressed concerns being raised by small businesses, home crafters, thrift stores, book publishers, and libraries among others. These concerns involve, for example, establishing common-sense exclusions from lead testing for textiles and paper-based books that are proven to be lead-free, component part testing where appropriate for lead and phthalates, and clear guidance for thrift stores. This did not have to be the case. The CPSIA already includes mechanisms for solving these legitimate concerns raised by these groups in a manner that protects the public health.

As a result, this has created a climate of confusion and is contributing to broader efforts to undermine consumer safety in this nation. Effective leadership at the CPSC is urgently needed to help implement the law as intended, to provide common sense interpretations of the law, and to clarify pervasive misstatements and confusion about this consumer protective law.

Nominating a new Chairman of the CPSC is critical. The Chairman has direct command and control over all the nonpolitical career staff and all of the scientific, enforcement and communications apparatus of the Agency. The Chairman sets the agenda, directs the policies executed by the Agency, and manages the distribution of the Agency’s resources. All of the offices and directorates of the Commission report to the Chair, either directly or through the office of the Executive Director. In addition, quick action is necessary is because the current acting chair remains in that position until a new nominee is confirmed.

As you know, the CPSC has been underfunded and understaffed for too long. We urge you to move expeditiously to nominate a strong chairperson to the CPSC with product safety expertise who can implement the critical new product safety law and begin to tackle the myriad of issues facing this agency.

Sincerely,

Stephen Brobeck Jim Guest
Executive Director President
Consumer Federation of America Consumers Union

Nancy Cowles Sally Greenberg
Executive Director Executive Director
Kids in Danger National Consumers League

Dr. Diana Zuckerman Joan Claybrook
President President
National Research Center for Women Public Citizen
& Familie

Executive Director
U.S. Public Interest Research Group

cc:
Rahm Emanuel
Don Gips
Jim Messina
Phil Schiliro

Meanwhile, this guy is introducing legislation that aims to delay the bill until it can be rewritten so that it balances “the need for safety with a common-sense business approach.”

Letter from coalition of consumer groups to President Obama [CR]
Congress Must Keep Overreaching Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act From Harming Small Businesses, Families [Jim DeMint]

Comments

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  1. bohemian says:

    I assumed getting rid of Nancy Nord would have been one of the first things the new administration would do. She has already proven to be totally useless. I am sure there is a Burger King somewhere looking for a manager so Nord should be able to find other employment.

    • legwork says:

      @bohemian: Manager? I was thinking she’d be more suited to the tippy table corner holder-upper position.

      If she’d like to stay in product safety, NHTSA can always use new bus bumper impact testing devices.

    • Parapraxis says:

      @bohemian:

      tell her to stay the hell away from the kids meal toys.

    • Rachacha says:

      @bohemian: The CPSC is independent, and is by design seperated from the Executive branch. If the administration can make Nord’s life difficult to the point that she quits, Obama would then be faced with the task of nominating both a Democrat and a Republican to head the commission.

    • Anonymous says:

      @bohemian:

      People need to be better educated before making such harsh judgements about Ms. Nord. I have a resale shop so I know how much this law will hurt many many Americans. BUT, this letter is from Ms. Nord http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09115nord.pdf who is actually fighting on all our behalfs to get congress to change this overreaching law. They made the law, they need to change it! It isn’t her fault she was given a law that wasn’t thought through and now has to enforce it.

  2. Design3r says:

    My fiance’s mother runs a small home based business selling pacifiers and various other home made items for babies and this law, if enacted right now would put her out of business…. period. There is no way she can test every item before it goes out the door.

    • Jon Mason says:

      @Design3r: Well that’s OK then, let her ship products with no safety standards. I’m sure the parents of dead babies won’t mind at all.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @masonreloaded: As someone about to become a parent, I say, “learn what you’re talking about, or STFU.”

        My choices of safe toys, bedding, and clothing for my child have just been severely curtailed by the insanely bad implementation of this law. Savvy parents for YEARS have been buying from small manufacturers based in the US, Canada, and Europe, who ALREADY meet stringent safety standards and frequently cannot GET the dangerous components. They have more direct relationships with their customers because they are smaller, and they make their money on quality, not quantity.

        Instead of protecting my child and expanding my choices as a parent to include more safe choices, this bill has reduced my choices to plastic McCrap. If I want to buy a handmade all-organic-cotton stuffed rabbit with no buttony eyes that could get bitten off, I can’t do that as of Feb 9. But I can still go buy a plush rabbit made of synthetics with scary things in the stuffing and plastic eyes that could get bitten off from Mattel. Yay! What a win for consumers! My child won’t ingest phthalates when all those VOCs are offgassing from the conventional toy!

      • Repique says:

        @masonreloaded: So… what dead babies, then? Can you name, off the top of your head without Googling, a single case of a child being killed by lack of lead and pthalate testing on a homemade child’s product?

      • macbeth1 says:

        @masonreloaded:

        Do you really think a small home based business is manufacturing the component parts? Fyi: the stuff you see on etsy (for the most part) is not generally create from the ground up, if it has beads, no the seller did not melt and dye plastic, the knitted toys were also not from sheep raised by the seller, the clothes were made from premanufactured fabrics. Use some common sense here.

      • NigerianScammer says:

        @masonreloaded: I applaud your trolling technique sir.

        • Jon Mason says:

          @NigerianScammer: Not trolling at all, just making the point that “red tape” is sometimes there for a reason – “safety standards” are not just there to make people jump through hoops, they are there to protect people.

          @Repique: Of course I cant name one without googling, im not a medical encyclopedia. But google it yourself and you will see plenty of children killed by shoddily made or toxic toys…

          • 3eyes says:

            @masonreloaded: I hear a great way to win an argument is telling the other side to look up information.

          • Repique says:

            @masonreloaded: Plenty? Well, first, shoddily made toys have nothing whatsoever to do with this law. But as far as I can tell, the only child to die in the past five years or so as a result of lead poisoning was a four-year-old in 2006 who swallowed a lead charm from a charm bracelet made in China.

            Kids aren’t dying from homemade goods. They aren’t getting sick, they aren’t being seriously injured. If you have proof otherwise, by all means, Google away, I’ll be glad to hear it. But it’s just not happening. Lead poisoning in the US is usually the result of old lead paint. Contamination stories to hit the news in recent years have almost always come from products made in China.

            There’s no evidence that anything made by crafters and small businesses in the US is causing harm. There’s a reason you can’t name a case like that, it’s because it doesn’t happen. We shouldn’t be regulating expensive testing on the basis that something could possibly happen at some point, maybe, under the right freak set of circumstances.

            If you want to look up evidence to the contrary, by all means, use whatever resources you want. But my point is, if this happened, we would *know*. Everyone would have covered it. And if it’s not happening, there’s no reason to impose legislation to fix it.

          • Jennifer Vetere says:

            @masonreloaded:

            Mason, please learn your facts before you start spouting off online. First, quality isn’t addressed by the CPSIA — Mattel and Fisher-Price can still make tons of toys in China that aren’t “safe,” they’ll just be lead-free. Second, there have been NO circumstances of “toxic” toys that came out of a handmade operation in the United States. Why? Most of our manufacturers already test — if you purchase paint from Home Depot, that paint was tested.

            Another issue is the blatant hypocrisy. Grandma can buy yarn and crochet baby a blanket as a gift but if she had the audacity to try and *sell* the blanket, it’s “toxic.”

            Look, very few people are actually decrying the need for a lead law but the CPSIA (as it stands) is poorly written, overly broad and almost impossible to enforce. Do you really think that grandma knitting baby booties in Montana to sell at a craft fair knows about this? Do you truly think it’s a “safety standard” to make people RETEST things that have already been tested? My fabric? Tested. My snaps? Tested. My thread? Tested. So…. I have to go and retest my finished blanket? Um… do you think that lead is miraculously appearing out of nowhere in the middle of my office? It IS red tape, it IS inane, and it NEEDS to be fixed.

            You do realize the irony in all of this, right? Many consumers have turned to handmade toys as a safe haven away from toxic things made in China because it’s the imports that are dangerous. If the CPSIA is allowed to stand as-is, all there will be are imports from China. It’s good to know that we’ll be eliminating thousands upon thousands of high-quality handmade toys from the market in favor of sweatshop-produced, cheaply-made options from foreign countries.

            Mattel must be jumping for joy — they’ll have accomplished in a matter of days what took Wal-Mart years upon years to do… drive all small competition out of the marketplace.

            Jen

      • Anonymous says:

        @masonreloaded: So you think people who professionally make children’s clothes at home in the US instead of in sweatshops in China automatically have lower standards than, say, Mattel? That people buying the same fabrics and threads from the same suppliers as the big guys are somehow adding lead to them by assembling them at home? Or perhaps the grandmother buying a skein of polyester yarn, even if it tested lead-free and phthalate-free, is somehow ADDING those things by using a crochet hook to turn the yarn into baby booties?

        Not all home crafters are clueless about safety, and in fact many of them went into business to create SAFER things than they could find in the big box stores. Anyone who wants to see my materials, my workspace, or look up MSDS sheets on ANY of my supplies is welcome to do so. Just don’t ask me to fork out $1000 in 3rd-party lab tests (do you KNOW how many US-certified labs are in CHINA?!?) and try to sell an $1100 child’s dress in this economy – not if I can prove that my materials and my workspace are also lead-free without the expensive testing.

        If you don’t do it, I don’t know how you can comment with any sort of credibility.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Design3r: That’s pretty scary. If someone dies, she would probably be going to jail. Does she make the rubber and plastic herself, or does she buy premade items and alter them in some way? The question being does she have a way to know if her materials are safe? If not, she is pretty reckless.

  3. Plates says:

    He’ll probably put in some cronie, which would probably be just as bad as some corporate lackey.

  4. Anthony Rinaldi says:

    Funny, when it is a Democrat doing something you like it’s Blank, Democrat or the Democrat Blank; but if its a Republican it is “This guy”.

  5. Repique says:

    Both, please. The law desperately needs to be revamped before being enacted, so I’d say waiting would be my priority, but it’s never going to be enacted in a sane way without good leadership at the CPSC. The bonus of the latter would be someone qualified to handle not just this legislation but the wide variety of safety issues facing the public in a way that takes into account the economic impact of regulation.

  6. evilhapposai says:

    How about we put someone with a brain in charge of putting someone with a brain in charge of the CPSC.

    Oh wait we got Obama? Not gonna happen then. Take away the media love affair, the messiah complex, and the hype and he’s got nothing. Just Jimmy Carter with a palette swap.

    • GreatCaesarsGhost says:

      @evilhapposai:
      He’s got nothing? Nothing at all? You mean aside from his JD from Harvard where he was editor of the Law Review? Aside from his 12 years as a professor at one of the best law schools in the country? Aside from 12 years in the Illinois and US Senate?

      Troll if you must, but put a little effort into it.

      • evilhapposai says:

        @GreatCaesarsGhost: So just because someone has a degree and a few years in office make them fully qualified, right? Bush has a Harvard degree too so lets get him back then in some appointed office. Oh, and McCain has been a US Senator since 1987 long before Obama’s 3 years, one of which was spent campaigning more than actually being a senator.

        Obama appointed a Treasurer that can’t pay his taxes and a Secretary of State with a conflict of interest from her husband’s received foreign contributions. We do not need anymore of these poor appointees. Nord is doing what she can considering what she has to work with. The law was hastily made due to all the media outrage and she is trying to see the side of the small businesses that are hurt by this law. We don’t need a new head person that may let this law in unchanged.

  7. Squeezer99 says:

    how can someone that doesn’t have a brain, put someone with a brain in charge?

  8. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    …being deeply involved in the motorcycle industry, I just read a missive that Honda sent to all it’s dealers. It was a warning…that as of Feb. 10th, or whenever this thing goes into effect, if there hasn’t been an exception put in to cover powersports (or at least motorcycles & ATVs), all Honda dealers will be required to pull a number of models off of their floors, and also not sell any similar used bikes they may have.

    Turns out, gasp, that lead is present in alloys used in the manufacture of motorcycles and ATVs (and I would guess snowmobiles, jet skis, so on and so forth…although I guess there’s probably not any jet skis marketed to kids). So this bill will actually make it illegal for motorcycle dealers (not just Honda) to market or sell any models intended to be used by kids. You know…just in case your kid has a penchant for munching on his carburetor.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness they stayed this lousy rule. We have a small business producing and selling art prints for children’s rooms. According to the manufacters, neither the ink nor the paper we use contain lead. Nevertheless the interpretation of the law is so general that we would be forced to test every one of the hundreds of different prints we offer even though they are all made using the same ink and paper sources! This would cost us thousands, and thousands, and thousands of dollars. Having four children of my own, I too want to protect my kids, but requiring testing on ALL kid related items is absurd. In its current form, the ruling is a small business KILLER.

  10. Rachacha says:

    I personally am going to go out on a limb and give Nord and the CPSC a break. Consider this:
    1) CPSC was against the way the CPSIA was being developed. It was a kneejerk reaction to a leadpaint scare. Yes, the toy industry had a problem with lead paint, but for a child to experience any ill effects from the lead paint they would have had to suck on the toy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for many many years. In many cases, the toy was recalled because lead paint slightly above the limit was detected in a drop of paint the size of a pencil tip.
    2) Many of the same consumer groups that wrothe this letter originally called for immediate action and strengthening the regulations. Congress delivered with an impossible deadline, and consumer groups rejoiced.
    3) Under the CPSIA, CPSC was mandated to develop a new regulation every month, a monumental feat for any government body, but try doing it when you are running at 50% of the staff that you were in the 1980′s and conducting research in a laboratory that used to be a NIKE missle control site, was too small, and was lacking the tools to efficiently do its job.

    The same consumer groups that were seeking swift and hard action to protect consumers [www.consumersunion.org] are now complaining that an under funded, under staffed agency that has been running for 2 years without the necessary 3 commissioner quorum being forced to push out regulation after regulation did not have the time or resources to write exemptions (even though they originally asked for ALL children’s products to be tested) that needed to be carefully reviewed and language carefully crafted to avoid unintended loopholes. CPSC just can’t win!

  11. MooseOfReason says:

    Obama,

    Please abolish the CPSC.

    Thanks.

    • Rachacha says:

      @MooseOfReason: So you are in favor of no regulations which will see an influx of small magnets that can rip open a childs intestine, pool drains that can dis-embowel people, small parts that can choke a child. Or would you be in favor of a system where manufacturers agree to voluntarially do the right thing, since if you abolish the CPSC there would be no rules to folow.

      Hey MooseofReason, are you in China, or do you work for the Peanut Corporation of America?

      • MooseOfReason says:

        @Rachacha: Toys still have small parts. Children don’t read and can’t understand those “choking hazard” labels. I don’t understand your point on that one. It would only be solved if toys came in one piece and were big enough that no one could fit it into his mouth.

        Also, toys – as well as other products – still get to the store shelf with lead in them. The CPSC gets notified of product problems from the companies themselves, people who’ve experienced a problem, or a hospital emergency room.

        Here’s what a rep said: “In more than half the serious cases, we find out about problems with products from consumers, hospital emergency rooms, or other investigations that we do — not from the companies.”

        So… companies already do the right thing voluntarily. Some don’t, even when the CPSC growls at them.

        [discuss.washingtonpost.com]

        Also, you should check out this Q&A:

        “The products should be thoroughly tested — I agree completely. Then I read in The Post story that Dorel created a new position, vice president for quality assurance, LAST DECEMBER! If this company really takes safety seriously, what was the holdup?

        Ann Brown: Good question. I wish we knew.”

        Interesting. They’re not sure why they’re suddenly concerned about quality assurance.

        • Rachacha says:

          @MooseOfReason: Toys will have small parts naturally, however standards exist to ensure that when the toy is used, pieces that were not intended to be small parts don’t develop. Have you ever tried to get a wheel (a small part) off a Matchbox car? It is difficult to do, in part due to safety standards.

          Hazards are reported to CPSC from citizens, manufacturers, retailers, hospitals, and state and local agencies. Manufacturers and Retailers do so in part because they want to avoid fines, but more importantly to avoid the bad publicity…but remember, these are only the products that we know about. I am sure that there are products that have some safety issues that are never reported…I know that I have encountered several in my lifetime. There are however cases that occur every year where a manufacturer does not want to voluntarily recall the product, and CPSC must step in and force a recall [www.cpsc.gov] or [www.cpsc.gov] In both cases, the manufacturer was made aware of the hazard and decided to sell the product regardless of the potential for seriously injuring someone.

          The quote that you reference is in regards to a discussion about a manufacturer (Cosco) who was fined because they “failed to promptly report serious product defects to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Those defects led to hundreds of injuries and two deaths” . The person asking the question inquired why there was a delay when Cosco had hired a new VP of Quality Assurance (who presumably would be the one responsible for stopping the distribution of products that had a know defect. The CPSC Chairman at the time responded that she did not know why the manufacturer took so long to notify CPSC. All this demonstrates that many manufacturers will generally do whatever helps to raise their bottom line, even if it impacts the safety and well being of children (as evidenced most recently by the Peanut Corporation of America who allegedly knew that their products did not meet federal guidelines and shopped around for a laboratory until they obtained the results that they wanted rather than stopping production, and sanitizing their equipment).

          No system is perfect, and I can think of ways to improve the process of approving safety of consumer products, like requiring testing of all products (include some exemptions for certain types of products like books with paper pages), and require a certification mark from an independent laboratory to appear on the product and requiring that the test laboratory periodically (every few months) inspect products as they are being manufactured. This is the same system that is in use for electrical products in the US, and there are very few recalls of electrical equipment in the US.

  12. Anonymous says:

    As to your blog, the problem is the law is being applied retroactively (so what’s on the shelf, safe and legal Feb. 9th is hazardous waste Feb. 10th unless VERY expensive testing is done which will drive people out of business), does not just apply to toys and books but ANY children’s product (see comment above of how it applies to motorcycles, every child’s toy!!!!!!), and basically rewards the BIg Box store who caused the problem in the first place by running out the homemade, small-time US cottage manufacturers who will be the bankrupt ones as the big boys can eat the cost of compliance and the little guy can’t.

    I own a children’s resale store. I’m not closing my store, but almost did out of fear of the repercussions of this law. I have stopped taking toys and will not be selling any except new ones which have certifications. I can survive without selling used toys in my store, but it’s the application to other products which would drive me under, products which have a great track record of being safe. That is not enough, though, as it’s a “guilty until proven innocent” approach.

    As far as your poll, it would help to get someone with a brain at CPSC (or at least someone who knows the way the industry works in addition to the science), but primarily this law needs to be delayed in implementation, and then rewritten (a la Jim DeMint) to common sense standards. When you read the text of the law, it is very unclear and incoherent, which has lead to all this confusion. Alot of the stuff being blamed on the CPSC is due to the wording in the law, which doesn’t convey what’s I’ve been lead to believe was the intent. (That’s what you get when Congress passes the bill no one reads because it’s right before the last recess and they’re busy figuring out how to soak people for more $$$ for their campaigns) A cleaned up version is what’s needed, there are many parts of this law that need to be kept, but there are many parts that need to be fixed so everyone knows the rules and can go about doing their job.

  13. gnimsh says:

    Is it just me or does their symbol look an awful lot like the battlestar galactica insignia? Comparison: [img4.sidereel.com]

  14. Anonymous says:

    Based on my reading of this legislation, the point is a good one, but implementation of this “feel good” law could devastate small and micro businesses.

    From what I understand, all end users must test all components they use in products they sell for children under the age of 12 years old. Many micro and home business owners produce one of a kind and small runs of products to be distributed to targeted markets. Most of the tests are expensive and some are destructive. Many of the components they use are inherently lead and phthalate free.

    On it’s face this law seems reasonable. We ALL want our children to be protected. However, when one looks closer one will see that this is a nightmare of expensive, duplicate testing of products that should already comply before these products hit the distribution chain.

    As a specific example, a micro business of a husband and wife who use commercially available yarn, ribbon, wood and paint to make home decor items for children’s rooms would soon have to test those products even though those products contain no lead or phthalates. Why should the overly burdensome requirement of duplicate testings be put on end users?

    Since many micro businesses already produce safe toys and other products in direct response to dangerous imports from China and India it seems that this legislation needs to target large manufacturers and importers, not end users of components. Those manufacturers and importers should be responsible for compliance BEFORE their products hit the distribution chain in the US.

    As a further example, if one company makes yarn and that yarn is distributed to craft stores such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby why should the 10,000 end users each be responsible for testing that yarn when yarn already contains no lead or phthalates.

    Honestly, this law is poorly written and needs to be amended to make sense in the real world.

    Even libraries and schools are concerned because the language of this law seems to indicate that books would need to be tested. That is completely unreasonable.

    Thrift stores and places like Goodwill Industries would also be adversely affected. Many families rely on aftermarket outlets like thrift stores to purchase gently used clothes and toys. The loss of that resource could be devastating for families.

    With so many already losing their jobs, it seems to be counterproductive to put small and micro and home businesses out of business because of a poorly written law which should have been aimed directly at manufacturers and importers.

    By the time products reach the distribution chain they should already comply and end users should be able to use those products in good faith.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Firing Nord is not the answer. She was presented with a bill that was hastily drafted and passed under a “suspension of the rules” in Congress (which meant *gasp* little to NO deliberation) and which was impossible to enforce in the time given…unless she simply dismissed the pleas of thousands of small businesses (each with unique needs) and the many unique requests for exemptions and went full-steam ahead with the idea of “ENFORCE OR DIE”. The CPSIA is a disaster as written and to stop an impending implosion of the children’s manufacturing industry in America, it had to be delayed. The law is simply TOO broad and considering every possible item/component for exemption or not could take YEARS. Besides that, there are far too few approved testing facilities (not to mention that hardly anyone can afford to pay the ridiculous costs). If you think you can do so much better than Nord, then why haven’t you submitted your application for the job? At least SHE has the common sense and decency to LISTEN to the pleas of honest buinessmen and businesswomen with legitimate concerns for their livlihood, instead of just brushing them all off as caring more about profits than children’s safety. It can’t all be one-sided. Someone has to be willing to stand in the middle and try to make both sides come together in a way that doesn’t put thousands more out of work, while still endeavoring to keep America’s childrens safe. There IS a way to do this…but the CPSIA is NOT it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The CPSIA did not take into account one of a kind handmade items. There are no exemptions for work-from-home businesses that use components already tested for lead by the supplier. Lead-free yarn and lead-free thread do not produce lead-containing blankets and clothes. Most of the “heartless” manufacturers in the United States are parents themselves who give their own children the products they make. The CPSIA was an overly broad over-reaction to import problems, which resulted from large manufacturers not testing items made in other countries. Covering handmade items in the United States is an oversight, likely because those who passed the law didn’t read it or only shop from the big box stores who import so they didn’t know there is still a handmade industry in the United States – a significant industry that pays taxes and contributes to the economy safely.

    The at-home children item manufacturers I know are fully registered and regulated, using lead-free components from suppliers who already test the materials. Why make them pay $500-1000 more per item (and thus raise their prices by 200% in some instances) when they’re already shown to be “safe”?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Q Just how much safer does CPSIA make us?
    A Not very

    great analysis from curiouswork: How much safer does #cpsia make us? I crunched the numbers. http://tinyurl.com/cszynz

    one injury from an item with lead paint that would have been covered by this law if enacted in 2008.

    Do we even know if the crib were new (import from China)? Or if it had been in the family since before 1977′s lead law…
    or even if the lead paint was from it being repainted with paint that had been stored since before the 1977 lead law?

    • Rachacha says:

      @MyrtleBrocchus: Agreed. The CPSIA was enacted by congress to show that they were reacting to the media frenzy follosing the Lead Paint scare of 2007. Lead paint poisioning is low on the CPSC radar because after lead was removed from house paint and from cars, lead poisioning dropped to nearly zero. Nord outlined her desires for reform of CPSC regulations that would have gone a long way to helping the CPSC do its job more efficiently and effectively without increasing the agency budget, and without requiring a blanket “everything must be certified” requirement that everyone is now complaining about. Nord’s request to congress about the reform she wanted to see is located here: [www.cpsc.gov] These were modest changes that would have relaxed some of the restrictions that CPSC was bound by that hampered their ability to do their job. Congress ignored these requests [www.cpsc.gov] and [www.cpsc.gov] at the urging of consumer advocacy groups who complained that Nords PRISM plan did not go far enough. Strangely these are the same groups that are now complaining that Congress’s plan went too far.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Nord is one of the few that actually IS using her brain, and thankfully she was strong enough to stand up to a senseless law. This law has good intentions, but was written so POORLY that there was NO WAY CPSC could enforce it properly unless it is rewritten. As it is written, it effects everything from socks to crocheted hats…none of which have EVER posed a lead problem. Thankfully Nord realized this, and realized how poorly it was written, and stood up for what she felt was right. Nord is NOT the problem, the lousy writing of the law is! It should be thoughtfully rewritten, so that it actually helps the lead problem (its intention in the first place) without pulling millions of products that have never caused a problem in the first place. Kuddos to Nord, and let’s keep her around.

  19. S-the-K says:

    The Obamessiah is probably looking for the right political appointee who has cheated on their taxes, just like the rest of his political appointees.

    Or maybe he wants to kick it up a notch and find someone who cheats on their taxes and burgles the homes of orphans and widows?