January 07, 2009

consumer safety parenting issue

So do we all have opinions on the new child safety rule going into effect next month? I certainly don't--I really hadn't started reading much about it until this morning, and, well, it's not like I have much time now. But anyway, here's the gist of it: there's a new law going into effect regarding the safety of items intended for children. It's partly a result of all the toy recalls of the last year. One of its stipulations (it seems--I haven't read the whole bill) is that all goods sold for use by children must be tested for some toxins (such as lead) and until they are tested they are presumed hazardous and cannot be sold.

I have not yet looked carefully to read about the particular standards--whether they are based on good science, whether the limits they establish are reasonable, whether the toxins they are testing are the important ones--so that's the first thing of issue.

But the second issue is that, apparently, testing is quite expensive, and thus this restriction will make it virtually financially impossible for small children's retailers and particularly resale shops to stay in business. Which is an issue both economically and environmentally, obviously. I'm not sure if the articles on this point are accurate or just sort of hysterical--"are they going to policing yard sales now???"--but it seems worth investigating.

You can read the bill here; if you do a google "news" search for H.R. 4040: Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 you can read various responses to the bill. You'll note that the main sponsor is Bobby Rush, our hometown guy--so any chicago-area people who have thoughts on this might want to give him a call.

UPDATE: of course, our friend the Green Mama has already blogged about this. more details here.

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