CPSIA Update: Assurances That Don’t Assure

By February 5, 2009Economy, General, Regulations

Commissioner Thomas Moore of the Consumer Product Safety Commission has written a letter to the chairmen of the committees that oversee the agency, explaining at length his views of what the CPSC can and cannot do, is doing and will not do, and gee the CPSC is great, in response to the February 10th deadline for regulating the lead and phthalate contents of products that children might conceivably use.

If you’re a small manufacturer, a bookseller or home seamstress or toymaker, or a children’s retailer, Moore’s letter provides zero in the way of assurances about your liability under the new law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. “We’ll look the other way, probably,” is not a sentiment that engenders confidence.

Dawn Michelle writes at Reform CPSIA, which posts the letter: “Basically he says that although he didn’t agree with the CPSC’s Stay of enforcement he went along with it because of the misinformation out there from other related industries and organizations that originally fought FOR the CPSIA.”


Elsewhere, add gamers to the list of the alarmed. From Living Dice.com, “The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act–And Why All Gamers Should Fear Toxic Games“:

All of this means that every die, board game, box of cards or game book (yes, it applies to books too) must pass the new testing regimen. All of which is sure to add to the price. How much is a matter of some debate. Clearly, gaming juggernauts like Hasbro will have no issue with getting all of their products tested. Economies of scale reduce their costs significantly. Imagine the impact on the small game company that assembles its game by hand. Remember, even if every component is “clean,” the final product must pass the test requirements.  So mom and pop game publishers, already working with razor-thin profit margins need some extra lab work done on their board game. Some companies will cease publishing and the survivors will work harder for less money on each sale. From my perspective, the only real winners from this law are testing labs. Their business is sure to flourish.

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