Friday, January 30, 2009

IMPORTANT!!! CPSIA One Year Stay Announced


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public AffairsWashington, DC 20207

January 30, 2009
Release #09-115
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.
Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.
The stay does not apply to:

  • Four requirements for third-party testing and certification of certain children’s products subject to:

  • Certification requirements applicable to ATV’s manufactured after April 13, 2009.

  • Pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements, including for: automatic residential garage door openers, bike helmets, candles with metal core wicks, lawnmowers, lighters, mattresses, and swimming pool slides; and

  • Pool drain cover requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.
Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

The stay of enforcement on testing and certification does not address thrift and second hand stores and small retailers because they are not required to test and certify products under the CPSIA. The products they sell, including those in inventory on February 10, 2009, must not contain more than 600 ppm lead in any accessible part. The Commission is aware that it is difficult to know whether a product meets the lead standard without testing and has issued guidance for these companies that can be found on our web site.

The Commission trusts that State Attorneys General will respect the Commission's judgment that it is necessary to stay certain testing and certification requirements and will focus their own enforcement efforts on other provisions of the law, e.g. the sale of recalled products.

Please visit the CPSC Web site at for more information on all of the efforts being made to successfully implement the CPSIA.
Statements on this vote by Acting Chairman Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas H. Moore are in portable document format (PDF).


Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at

Friday, January 9, 2009

Top How-To Sewing Tutorials

TheLongThread shows a great list of tutorials for sewing projects that you and I can do. Check them out! The more the merrier, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Update on Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

According to this article, cottons are going to be exempt. The question now remains, what about buttons, zippers, trims, Velcro, thread, etc.
"Panel Exempts Some Products From U.S. Lead Rules (Update1)
By Mark Drajem
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to exempt electronic goods and products with lead embedded inside from new rules banning the metal in toys.
The two-member commission, reacting to complaints from manufacturers, also agreed to exempt natural products such as gems and cotton from mandatory testing for lead. The proposal, given initial approval today, will be open for public comment for a month and may be altered.
Companies had urged the safety commission to pass more far- reaching exemptions and to put them in place immediately, before the ban on lead in toys takes effect Feb. 10.
“The deadline is coming up very, very quickly,” said Sheila Millar, a lawyer representing the Fashion Jewelry Trade Association. Companies “want clarity and they need it quickly,” she said.
Still, companies shouldn’t expect a crackdown, said Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman for the commission.
“There’s a need for compliance, but it’s fair to say that the toy police will not be descending on all of America on Feb. 11,” Vallese said.
First Overhaul
Congress passed the first overhaul of consumer protection laws in almost two decades last year in response to a spate of recalls the year before of Chinese-made toys containing lead. While previous regulations included limits on lead, the law toughened the standard and expanded its reach to all products aimed at children 12 and under.
That expansion has ensnared makers of products such as bicycles and books that never thought of themselves as toymakers, said Ed Krenik, a lobbyist at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Washington.
The law also forces all makers of children’s products to get independent tests of their toys to prove they don’t contain lead.
Lobbyists representing makers of products such as books, handheld computers, bedding and shoes banded together to petition the commission to exempt them from the new lead standards. They say the independent commission should also remove glass, bolts, mattress padding and other components of products that present no risks to children.
The proposed exemptions considered today are “incomplete and provide no process for adding additional materials which are known to science to not contain lead,” a coalition of handmade- toy sellers wrote to the CPSC on Jan. 3.
The CPSC exempted wool, cotton, silk, gemstones and pearls in its proposal today.
The panel also faces pressure from consumer groups to keep the standards tight. The only lead in toys the commission ruled was “inaccessible” was that which children couldn’t touch, a standard Millar argued is too tight.
“The agency is aware that this one-size-fits-all law doesn’t necessarily fit all sectors,” Vallese said. “But the laws are set and Congress was very explicit.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at
Last Updated: January 6, 2009 19:14 EST

Thursday, January 1, 2009

More important information about CPSIA

Etsy has a great article which you must read about this "safety" act. It affects you on a personal level if you sell anything that you have crafted for people or appealing to people under the age of 12. Click on the link above to see the story intact with hyperlinks to other information on the web:

Many members of the Etsy community have been involved in spreading the word about the impact the CPSIA might have on handmade and vintage toy and children's apparel businesses. Here at Etsy, we wrote an Open Letter about the CPSIA and invited Patricia Bittner, the Small Business Ombudsman at the Office of International Programs and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, to talk with our community in the Virtual Labs. Patricia passed on our requests to the proper people, but as of yet, not one has accepted our offer of a webchat. However, Patricia noted that the office has been getting many, many communications from small businesspeople on the topic.
The Washington Post reported  on the issue in Lyndsey Layton and Annys Shin's article, Toymakers Assail Costs of New Law: How Consumer Protections Will Be Implemented Is Onerous, Manufacturers Say. "While toy giants such as Hasbro and Mattel began changing their materials even before the law was passed, some owners of medium and small businesses say they do not have the time -- or the money -- to comply with the tough new provisions."
The Richmond Times reported small businesses' concerns about a lack of clarity regarding the enforcement of the law. The article, New Law May Hurt Crafters At Home, conveyed the crafting community's desire for exemptions. The newspaper noted that, according to Julie Vallese, spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, "There are exceptions to the testing rule for crafters making only one unique copy of each item."  Vallese also told reporter Sean Mussenden that "Small toymakers have inundated the commission with questions and complaints about the new standards."
Cecilia, of the and, is helping crafters and artisans get their voices heard. She is very active on the Alliance's Facebook Group (join the group here). We wanted to share some updates and deadlines via Cecilia:

Midnight, this Wednesday, December 31, 2008 is the deadline for the first round of voting on the site. If you haven't voted, please do, and pass the word on. Let's remain in the number one spot! Here's the link.
This coming Monday, January 5, is the deadline for comments to the CPSC. The CPSC has asked for comments regarding component testing and natural materials exemptions! This is our chance to speak directly to the CPSC and push them to include these important additions in the CPSIA/provide your personal feedback on anything that hasn't been touched on. Here is the link to the CPSC forms.

The blogosphere has been spreading calls for amending the CPSIA. Here are just a few posts:
BlogHer - The CPSIA puts handmade toys and kids clothes in danger of extinction. Like, soon.
Crafting in a Green World - Geppetto in Peril
The Twitter feed of Kathleen Fasanella at Fashion Incubator has all the latest news - and the Handmade Consortium will be updating a new blog section on the CPSIA topic. Click here for a whole lot more links.
Many Etsians have been sharing information via this thread in the forums.
Read our Open Letter about the CPSIA.
We wish everyone a safe, healthy, and productive New Year. Keep up the momentum!