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Save Handmade Toys From the CPSIA

 Handmade-Toy-Alliance Toyalliance150WebKidoinfo wants safe and creative toys for our children and we support artists and their handmade goods all year long. But as some of you may already know, handmade goods in North America and Europe are under attack. This is a call to action.

You’ve heard about the large toy manufacturers who outsource production to China (and other countries) selling toys with dangerously high lead content, unsafe small parts, improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.

The US Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the United States, so in August of ’08, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Among the good things the legislation does, like banning lead and phthalates in toys, it mandates third-party testing and certification for ALL toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

These changes will be easy for the large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with—those who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and updating their plastics molds to include batch labels. But for small North American and European toymakers—especially those who hand-craft their goods—the costs of mandatory testing (up to $4,000 per toy) will likely drive them out of business. The CPSIA forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public’s trust.

Unless this law is modified, as of February 10, 2009, handmade toys made by small toymakers will no longer be legal in the USA. And we will all suffer if this happens. Thriving small businesses are crucial to the financial health of our nation. Let’s amend the CPSIA so that all businesses large and small are able to comply and survive.

Thanks for this update from Cecilia Leibovitz of CraftsburyKids.com and the Handmade Toy Alliance.

With your help, we can change this law. Here’s How:

1. Sign the petition.

2. Vote to modify the CPSIA on change.org. Your vote will help bring this important issue to President-Elect Obama on Inauguration Day.

3. Please write to your US Congress Person and Senator to request changes in the CPSIA. Use this sample letter or write your own.

4. Join the “save handmade” Facebook group.

5. Join the CPSIA discussion group.

6. Tell your friends—please forward this post.

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  • Thank you for your support on change.org! Because of your votes, ‘Save Small Business from the CPSIA’ is now one of the top ten ideas for change in America on change.org. These ideas were presented to President-elect Obama’s change.gov/transition team at a press event in Washington DC this past Friday, January 16th.

    With 12,280 votes from supporters, our issue is now part of a campaign to increase national awareness of the lack of provisions for small business in HR4040, the CPSIA, and bring about positive changes to the law. In the upcoming week, we will be working with the chang.org team to engage an appropriate non profit group to help us further our cause.

    A forum has been opened for discussion on how to most effectively turn our idea into a successful national campaign, and the Handmade Toy Alliance would love your suggestions on how to bring about this Idea for Change. You can join the conversation here:


    We still have a lot of work ahead of us to make it possible for the thousands of American craftspeople and small businesses to stay in business, and to keep unique, beautiful hand-made children’s products available to consumers. But this was an important milestone in our journey, and we are grateful to you for helping us to reach it.


  • Thank you Anisa, for bringing this to the attention of more families. The impact of this legislation is going to be far-reaching for business, the overall economy, and for our choices as parents. Imagine not being able to have small businesses with specialty items, because the specialty market will be obliterated. Consignment and resale shops will also have to put a large amount of their inventory out as garbage.

    Thank you for helping to get the word out,