Tuesday, January 13, 2009

help save handmade toys

When I want to buy a special gift for someone, I think handmade. When I remember all of the special gifts I received as a child, nearly all of them were handmade - they are also the ones that I have kept into adulthood! I hope you feel the same way too. If you do, please take a minute to read the excerpt below from http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/ then vote to help save handmade toys.
The issue: In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to
China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were
selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small part,
toys with 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 United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer
Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent
dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August,
2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys,
mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy
makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number. All of
these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to
comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have
very little incremental cost to pay for testing and update their molds to
include batch labels. For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers
and manufacturers of children's products, however, the costs of mandatory
testing will likely drive them out of business.A toymaker, for example, who
makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford
the $300 - $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure
compliance with the CPSIA. A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes cloth
diapers to sell online must choose either to violate the law or cease
operations. A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe,
which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on
every toy they import. And even the handful of larger toy makers who still
employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the
CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety
problems of 2007.

You can go here http://www.change.org/ideas/view/save_handmade_toys_from_the_cpsia to vote.

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