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January 08, 2009



Retailers are required to test items in inventory because the lead ruling is still retroactive - there has been no exemption made on that point. There has been some confusion on that point. The resellers ruling only applies to used items.


Well put. The clarifications -- especially the concept of not having to test unfinished pine and organic cotton for lead paint! -- do give me hope that perhaps this might actually be worked out...

j. caroline

You may be right. I just interpreted the text from the CPSC's press release on January 8, which states that:

"The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties. "

Which, again, is confusing. I interpret that to say, the retailers are not required to test, but they must have indications (certification? a hunch? intuition?) that the items are compliant with the lead limit. Again, more clarification would be helpful here.


Thanks for posting on this all consuming subject. As if our businesses aren't stuggling enough.

j. caroline

I know. Could this have come at a worse time for businesses? Can we use some of GM's bailout money for compliance?


I too wanted to thank you for posting about this. I've been planning a blog post about the CPSIA issue for days now... started several drafts but never finished them because I didn't feel I had all the information. Somehow, you've managed to gather it all and make it concise enough and easy to read/understand.

I was jumping for joy yesterday when I read that they had exempted wool, cotton, silk, gemstones & pearls. I thought we might be in the clear, but then someone pointed out that they may be referring to organic, undyed, unbleached materials... UGH!

Here's hoping that this issue gets resolved before it affects hundreds of thousands of families out there!


Thanks for publicizing this! May I also suggest visiting the War Room for up to the minute updates and focused activism? http://tinyurl.com/5fhzbd. There's also the automated mailer to email legislators in one fell swoop. http://tinyurl.com/5hloos. Lastly, we are asking people to fill out the Economic Impact Survey http://bit.ly/Cdwv. The latter link also includes every CPSIA entry published on Fashion-Incubator.com

Btw, sorry I missed you in Houston!

Zerbert Baby

Thanks for taking the time to write about this. It helps clarify what all is going on.

Peggy Vincent

Hi! your blog popped up on a google alert I'm getting about this issue. Great post. If your readers are interested, I just posted on my groups blog, http://superwahmz.blogspot.com/.

It includes the link to the CPSC site for approved labs and another site that has some good info as well as conversation.

You are right, don't panic - do something.


I know I've been in the fog of thinking this will all get worked out, but also wondering if it really is the end of the children's side of my business. It's hard to imagine it would really happen, but sadly it could. I've done a few things to contribute to the cause - letters to my representatives, petition signing, voting on change.org - they seem like very insignificant, small acts in the scope of things. It's hard to not feel a sense of dread, but it cheers me some to see so many people speaking out and finding ways to make their voices heard.

Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive and well thought out commentary & for offering great advice - even if you're not calling it that :o)



I caught wind of this last year but haven't heard much about it in the main stream. So glad you posted this article because I think more people should be aware of this. Fortunately my business is making jewelry and purses intended for adults - but some people like to buy my items for their teenage loved-ones. So in order to protect myself I have put a disclaimer on my website that my products are not intended for children under the age of 14...yes 14!! The reason for the high age limit is because Massachusetts' Jewelry Lead Law defines children as ages 14 and under. I don't live in Massachusetts however I do sell online so there is a chance that someone from Massachusetts will buy from me -- so I felt the need to cover all the bases.
So everyone needs to check their state's definition of the Lead Law to see if there are any variances from the link you provided.
Scary stuff! Glad you brought it up because this could be devestating to a small business.


Thanks for helping spread the word about this crazy law. I am one of many who will be out of business Feb 10 if this law does not get changed.

Ellen Crimi-Trent

I heard first hand about this from someone I know who is being affected by this. This person had made her living out of designing things for children and now has to resort to having to get another job because of these strict restrictions. Its going to be a tough road ahead and hopefully things will work out.

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