Our Family

Saturday, January 31, 2009

CPSIA On Hold for One Year!

Yeah!!! All the protesting worked and CPSC has come to their senses and passed a one year ban on product testing! This means I am in the clear for another year and hopefully in the mean time they will add some exclusions the the law. Below is the announcement from Etsy.

We are so excited to announce that the Commission has voted for a "Stay of Enforcement of Certain Testing and Certification Requirements of CPSIA" — which means that they are proposing a 1 year suspension of the burden of lead testing and certification while they take more time to review the rules and plan enforcement! All of your hard work is paying off (for the time being at least!). You wouldn't have to pay to do the certification and testing, though you are still liable if your products are found to have lead. We are so pleased that artisans and vintage sellers got their voices heard. Your hard work is not over; we must continue to play a role in advocating for small business people throughout the coming year.

"The action taken today provides breathing space to get in place some of the rules needed for implementation, but it should not be viewed as a full solution to the many problems that have been raised." —U.S. Consumer product Safety Commission

You'll find the press release below:
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:
The ban on lead in paint and other surface coatings effective for products made after December 21, 2008;
The standards for full-size and non full-size cribs and pacifiers effective for products made after January 20, 2009;
The ban on small parts effective for products made after February 15, 2009; and
The limits on lead content of metal components of children’s jewelry effective for products made after March 23, 2009.
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 www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html for more information on all of the efforts being made to successfully implement the CPSIA.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Info on the CPSIA or Bankruptcy Day

Here is something I ran across today and with the list of things they include that will be affected by the new law I jsut don't understand why this is not all over the media!! Honestly when I first heard about this at the beginning of Jan. I thought this can't be real they will definitely have to change it. Well, here it is less than two weeks away and NOTHING has been done! I am really starting to stress about this, even though there nothing I can do about it and I just have to pray that something will happen. Anyways enough of my rants, here is the post and another website to check out http://nationalbankruptcyday.com/.

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

To the American Economy:Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses. If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbeshttp://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Lawhttp://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Monday, January 26, 2009

February 10th

In case you haven't heard on February 10th a new law comes into act, the CPSIA Law. This law means that ALL things sold primarily for children under the age of 12 must be tested for lead and phthalates.

By testing these items they will be destroyed. This process also cost thousands, yes I said thousands, of dollars. For example there was an Etsy site that had a bib for sale that cost over $4,000 just to prove the point that NO small business is going to survive. That means if you love Etsy or handmade children's clothes or even the sweet little hats the old ladies make for the newborns in the hospitals, you can say bye to all of that after Feb 10th. The only people that will make it are the large manufacturers and they are ones that supposedly the law was meant to stop. The law that was passed almost unanimously voted on and I mean only a handful were against it, like 4.

This is very sad to me. Not only will I not be able to continue making the baby products that I make, but in the future I, or anyone else, will not even be able to give them away for FREE!! So what does that mean!? Can I make my own kids stuff? I don't know. The law is so vague that NO ONE knows what falls under the law and what doesn't. As it is written right now, everything is included even things labeled organic. All clothing, toys, hair bows, ANYTHING!! This also means that thrift stores and consignment are not totally out of the clear like they wanted everyone to believe from the note they posted the other week. These places are not responsible to test the items, but they are not suppose to sell items that are high in lead content. What?! Like the thrift store volunteers are going to know! This means what in the world are we going to do with all of our old baby stuff?! What are people that can't afford brand new going to do?

This is a hard concept to grasp because in a bad economic time the government just made everything worse! Small business are going to go under and people that need to buy second hand are going to have to spend money they don't have to buy at large chain stores. I just pray that Obama or however is in charge of amending this bill will do so before it is too late. Luckily I still have some items I can make and I am adding a few new ones, but I love the bibs and burp cloths and will making them. I also love to buy and sell used items.

For more info and a good article check this one out, http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snowy Day!

Today we had our first real snow in more than 4 years! We were hoping for the 20+ inches like when we were in college, but the 6 or so inches that we did get was pretty fun. The boys really liked playing in it! They had a blast going down their snowy slide. They loved throwing snow balls at Andy and helping him build a snowman. At the end of the day they got really cold and tired, but still said they liked the snow. I kinda feel like, ok I've had my snow fall for the year and now I am ready for spring!

Hopefully the remnants of the snow will not prevent us from getting to the hospital tomorrow to have the boys tubes put in their ears. Luckily we do not live very far from the hospital, like 3 mins.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Busy Year

We have been pretty busy so far this year. The boys spent New Years with my parents and then stayed until that Sunday after. They had a great time and we had a really great time! We actually went to the movies, which we never do, and saw Marley and Me. It was really good and I highly recommend seeing it. Even though Andy and I aren't big dog people it was a really cute movie. We also spent the whole time playing Wii. I LOVE the Wii Fit! You really do get a good work out and it got the GH seal of approval this month. I also of course did my triple coupons and saved about 70%, I can't remember the total now. Last week though, I spent $90 on groceries and saved $140!!! The cashier said that was the biggest savings she had ever seen! I love coupons!!

We have also been trying to clear out all the junk that we acquired throughout the year. We are trying to figure out what kind of renovation we can afford to do upstairs. We have several possibilities we just need to win the lottery to be able to do the one we want. It is nice to be able to see the whole attic now instead of piles of boxes and junk! I also organized the closets in the playroom. One is the overstock pantry and the other is now the toy closet. We have way too many toys and so I thought I would organize the huge walk in closet under steps for all their toys.

Andy meanwhile spent most of the past two weekends repairing the water heater. It was only 3 1/2 years old and developed a leak, which is much better than blowing up. Luckily GE just let us return that one to Home Depot and get another one. Then that one had a small leak. Turns out there was some issue and Andy finally fixed it.

We seem to always have something going on! Next week the boys are having more tubes put in their ears! This will be the third set for Carter and the second set for Cale. Hopefully all we go smoothly. We are going to take them to the circus for the first time in a couple weeks. I think that they will really like it. They loved the Dixie Stampede, so we are hoping they love this too.

My business has been going pretty good. Except for the new CPSIA Lead Law that goes into effect on Feb 10th unless it is amended. Let's hope that it is amended, because if not then I can't sell anything that is primarily for the use of children under the age of 12. At least I can still make diapers and wipes bags, nursing cover (which are new), key fobs, belts, bags, and I can make pot holders. I do love making the bibs and burp cloths though, so I am really praying that it gets amended to exclude handmade items.

Hopefully I will have some more pictures up soon. We have been so busy I haven't really taken any this month! Hard to believe, right!?