Sunday, January 11, 2009

Could this law affect the way you save money or where you shop?

There has been a lot of talk online lately about this new law called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which is expected to pass next month.

I just came across this article posted at World Net Daily which discusses the issue pretty clearly. Here is a preview of the article:

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Jacobsen Books in Clinton, Wis.

A new government regulation scheduled to take effect next month has thousands of retailers, thrift stores and small businesses worried they will be forced to permanently close their doors – and destroy their merchandise.

The law is expected to have such a devastating impact that Feb. 10 is now unofficially known as "National Bankruptcy Day."

Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, or HR 4040, a retroactive rule mandating that all items sold for use by children under 12 must be tested by an independent party for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable.

All untested items, regardless of lead content, are to be declared "banned hazardous products.'' The CPSC has already determined the law applies to every children's item on shelves, not just to items made beginning Feb. 10.

The regulations could force thousands of businesses – especially smaller ones that cannot afford the cost of lead testing – to throw away truckloads of children's clothing, books, toys, furniture and other children's items and even force them to close their doors.

I know there are many home-based businesses, including mom-owned businesses that are concerned about this new law and what it will do to their income and lives. As a child our family often bought used clothes or toys to survive on my father's income, since my mom was a stay at home mom. Now that the economy is officially in a recession and unemployment has reached a high of 7.2% there are many families searching for ways to cut back on expenses. Purchasing used toys or clothing is apt to be one of those ways, including starting a home business designing or creating toys or clothes and crafts.

What will those families do to save money if they do not have the option to purchase used clothing or toys for their children? How will the economy survive if more jobs are lost due to this new law? What will families do with items their children outgrow if they can no longer donate or resell them? This sounds like a law that is going too far to ban lead products. It seems to me the CPSC needs to determine which products test highest for lead, particularly those imported from China over the past year which have been recalled,  and then impose this law on those products and those companies or eliminate the import of products from China and those places where the products have tested high for lead or have been recalled.

You can read more about this law and how it will affect small businesses on this site and sign the petition against lead testing here.

Share your thoughts and opinions, help spread the word and ask your state and federal representatives to help save small business.

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