What will be pulled off the shelves? The impact of the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
The law will become effective on February 10th
Fortunately, it seems that the Consumer Product Safety Commission listened to the reasoning of the thrift shop owners and voted that second hand sellers will be exempt from mandatory testing of children's products so it shall be business as usual. I guess they realized it probably is not a good time to force a large group of small businesses to shut their doors when the economy is already gasping for air. All second hand sellers will still be required to check the CSPC website for recall announcements on the products they sell, but at least they do not have to throw everything away.
Another side effect of this law is that many small manufacturers and book publishers will be required to test their products for children. Some of them will inevitably be forced to close their doors or change their products completely because they do not have the resources to test all of their inventory. This law also applies to anyone who creates and sells handcrafted toys or clothes for children so some grandmas out there may just be dealing out illegal knitted beanies. On the flipside I think the government probably would not spend a lot of resources to enforce this law amongst individuals who sell their crafts, but you never know.
In a perfect world, nothing would be toxic and kids would be invincible, but in reality there is danger for children in almost everything in our homes. A pen could pierce a jugular vein and a piece of paper could be tainted with the flesh eating virus. It is really up to parents to be vigilant and watch what their kids are putting into their mouths and hands, but there is no need to be overly zealous. This new law will probably make products more safe in the long run, but we may lose small businesses along the way since for the most part only the large retailers and manufacturers can afford the testing. Additionally, children's products may become more expensive as a result.
What do you think? Are we trading freedom for a bit of perceived safety? Do you think the government will crack down on your neighbor who sells kid's jewelry online?