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  • Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

    Is anyone out there aware that the new CPSIA law goes into effect on Feb 10, 2009? I've been raising heck about this law, because it means NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURAL GENOCIDE!

    I'm probably on every Congressman's poop list after weeks of fighting this law, along with hundred of other small business owners. This law is a serious over-reaction to the lead tainted toys that were imported from China. I've been leading the charge from the Native angle, because this law will seriously affect our business. More importantly, it will affect ALL Native children taking part in our cultures, even those in Canada. Exports to Canada will be banned! The law is far too overzealous, and it's potential damage is monstrous while not making our children any safer!

    This law essentially states that ALL items produced and sold for children under the age of 13 must be tested for lead & other chemicals, even items which don't contain lead or only in trace amounts. Indians and other home-based artisans & small businesses cannot afford the expensive testing & tracking labels required for handmade items. It will, in effect, make it ILLEGAL to make & sell baby moccasins, crib quilts, cradleboards, dolls, jingle dresses, dance bells, bustles, roaches, buckskin dresses and ALL regalia, language books, custom t-shirts & team uniforms, toy bow & arrows, and all items for children. The law will put hundreds or thousands of small businesses OUT of business, and add thousands to the unemployment rolls. Many shops are already closing on Jan 31 since their entire inventories will become "hazardous" overnight and they won't be able to pay another month's rent. I've been working on childrens orders day & night to beat the deadline, and just finished listing our unfinished childrens pieces for sale on the website.

    On a personal basis, I feel like someone is ripping my heart right out of my chest. Making regalia for children is like medicine for the soul. There is NOTHING on this earth that makes us happier than sending another child skipping off into the powwow arena with the supreme self confidence that they get from dancing. Sure, this law is going to interfere with existing federal laws protecting Native Rights. But who can afford to be the Supreme Court test case? Is there anyone out there that has Obama's ear?

    Unless Congress amends the law, or the CPSC (dragging their feet) issues ADEQUATE exceptions to the law before Feb 10, stores will be pulling millions of dollars in childrens inventory to destroy it. Banks will lose their loan collateral. It will be illegal to donate or export untested childrens items, whether they contain lead or not. The law has been ruled retroactive, so it doesn't matter if a book or doll is 50 years old, it's included in the law. All untested items will become "banned hazardous goods". The Nat'l Library Assn has told libraries to pull childrens books from the shelves or ban children under the age of 13 from libraries.

    This is NOT a JOKE!! The legal opinions are in. This is a very real train wreck waiting to happen. Opponents are calling it National Bankruptcy Day. You can read more about it on our web page called Native American Cultural Genocide, the first link on our website front page at littlecrowtradingpost.com You can Google CPSIA or view YouTube videos on CPSIA, and read what Forbes, NY Times, Washington Post, Twitter and other sources say about it. Once you understand what's going on, you need to CALL your own state's Senators and Representatives in their Washington DC offices, and make your objections to the CPSIA known! Nobody wants lead toys in the hands of children, but this law is a disaster! It's 15 days and counting until Feb 10 - National Bankruptcy Day. Make Yourselves Heard!!

    Last edited by jlittlecrow; 01-25-2009, 07:45 AM. Reason: Add color
    Janet Littlecrow
    Littlecrow Trading Post, LLC
    www.littlecrowtradingpost.com

  • #2
    This is a typical example of legislative over-reaction. Anyone who opposes it, is characterized as wanting children to be poisoned.

    Science and sensible risk assessment were not used to guide this law. Not all materials and, to be honest, not all countries of origin pose the same risks of lead contamination. For example books: yes, inks can contain lead (Pb), and not just a small amount, but let's be real. The kid has to EAT the book; Pb does not just fly through your skin and while books do shed ink which can be licked off the fingers, that shedding is low-level. If my kid ate a library book, I'd be much more worried about the bug and mold control treatments used.

    Between the cost prohibitive testing of materials which are at a low risk of Pb contamination and the fact that few labs in the US are accredited to do this testing (10x more labs in China and southeast Asia have accreditation), the net result will be the clear the decks. The only children's clothing and products available are going to be made overseas.

    Policy decisions need to be guided by a sensible science and risk assessment. How much Pb could be present? Is it biologically labile? What are reasonable exposure scenarios? What products have proven to be a risk? What countries of origin have demonstrated a lack of will to produce safe products?

    There is a big difference between Pb in paint, which can chip, be ingested, and is absorbed at appreciable levels after ingestion; and Pb chemically bound within glass. There is difference between a toy made the EU with it's extensive regulatory and testing process that controls the entire supply chain, and those made in China which has failed to translate its safety regulations from paper to industrial practice.

    We need to quit letting fear and the global free trade lobby control our policy. We need to make well reasoned, not emotional, consumer safety policy decisions.
    Last edited by OLChemist; 01-25-2009, 09:48 AM. Reason: Grammar, grammar, grammar

    Comment


    • #3
      I have been reading about this trying to figure out how I will be effected but having trouble sifting through the whole thing.
      1. I'm worried cause I home school my 2 middle children cause they were so horribly miserable that it was just easier but I order a lot of materials from the states that I can't get up here.
      2. I sell regalia and bead work and my customer base is largely from the states (plus I'm just starting to sell) Will I be able to ship a childs regalia to the US? I can't figure that out since technically they bought it in Canada. Bead work is easier I can just list it as bead work, not child or adult, but regalia is clear by the size who it is intended for.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hang on there boys and girls.

        A few years back there were laws placed to prohibit the sale of childware unless it is safe and fire resistant to a point in the US and Canada. Along with that some time before was the laws that prohibited the sale of items using lead based paint.

        Did anyone follow those laws who make and sell childrens regulia in theit homes? No............. If you didn't, why did you not comply? Was that law only for Walmart to follow?

        Suzzie, Are your baby mocs able to comply with the laws?
        (Suzzie's answer) I don't know! I make them and people like them and are very happy with the quality and looks.

        jlittlecrow, Are your little girls dresses able to comply with the laws of the land?
        (jlittlecrow's answer) I've been making these things for years and had never had a return or complaint. I get orders from all over the place. I even export to Canada through UPS.

        No one needs to close their doors and business can go on as usual. All one needs to do is be able to supply the proper MSDS data sheets for each product you use.

        What is a MSDS data sheet?
        Material Safety Data Sheets can be found online for every product you use to assemble your products. All you need to do is aquire the data sheets and make sure the products you buy comply with the law. You can find MSDS sheets for beads, material, thread, glue, etc by going to the manufacturers website. You can also ask for a copy through your raw material suppliers. You must prove that your product is safe for the kids. The only way to do this is to get the data sheets.

        All the new law does is force you to comply with the exhisting laws and make sure your products are safe. The stock or raw materials you have on hand can still be sold provided they can comply with the new laws.

        The main reason this new law was put into effect was the imports from China. Research has shown that many products from China still do not comply with the older laws for child safety and lead based paint. Research also shows that the child death rate from lead based products has actually gone up over the last 10 years.

        Make sure your products are safe and it will be business as usuall. The best way is to be able to supply the data if questioned. If you sell at powwow, make a folder of the MSDS sheets so patrons or officials can view them on request. You can also post the MSDS sheets online for internet viewing. At that point, you can then also post that your products comply with the child safety laws. It could increase your business!
        Don't ask me what I think about something unless you want a truthful anwser. It may not be the anwser you are looking for.

        It's better to fly with the eagles then drive with the turkeys.

        Duct tape has a light side and dark side that binds our universe together.

        Bad attatude lessons available here. To inquire, Check the box to the right. []

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TKMJ Productions View Post
          Hang on there boys and girls. No one needs to close their doors and business can go on as usual. All one needs to do is be able to supply the proper MSDS data sheets for each product you use.
          TKMJ - You obviously haven't read the law or any of the legal opinions. This legislation flies in the face of legal precedent. MSDS sheets are NOT acceptable documentation under this law - that's one of the easy fixes here, but Congress isn't biting. Finished Goods producers who buy their raw materials in the US are NOT considered CONSUMERS under this law, they are considered MANUFACTURERS. Totally back-asswards, legally. EACH SIZE & COLORWAY OF EACH BATCH of finished goods must be tested, even though raw materials are already certified legal.

          XRF testing by a CPSIA certified lab is acceptable for SOME products until August. It's still expensive, and most XRF-capable labs aren't CPSIA-certified. In August, it goes to destructive testing by an independent 3rd party certified lab. Most CPSIA-certified labs are in CHINA. How are you going to do destructive testing on a girls beaded buckskin dress? Make 2 of them, so that your "batch" can be tested? Chromium used to dry commercially tanned deerskin might throw off the tests. I'm not a chemist but I know that XRF testing also picks up chromium. In August, EVERYTHING requires labeling with cradle-to-grave documentation that heretofore has only been required of aircraft parts. MSDS sheets are NOT acceptable under the law. That's why everyone is raising the alarm!

          We have ALWAYS followed the laws. But both of us have been held at FBI gunpoint, when our employers were raided. As an IT manager at an aircraft parts broker, FBI agents busted into my office with guns drawn, & I was held prisoner for a day under threat of arrest for "hindering a criminal investigation" if I left. It's not something that I want anyone else to experience.

          This law authorizes State Attorney Generals to prosecute violators. So if your State AG's office is hostile towards Indians, guess who may be targeted? Think about the Indian smoke shop raids. KS officials impounded a Ho-Chunk gasoline tanker. You think the toy police aren't going to be trolling powwows, but Fish & Game troll powwows regularly. The 500 new enforcement people authorized under the law are going to be checking businesses, crafts festivals, anywhere violations can occur. Anyone engaged in business is a target.

          SuzzeQ4 - Yup, imports & exports are banned too. I can't export to Canada, you can't export to the US. Antique sellers are going to be hurt by this provision, as it's been ruled retroactive.

          This is a very fluid situation, because Congress is starting to feel the pressure from citizens. So far, they're telling the CPSC to make exceptions. A few exceptions issued by the CPSC aren't going to be adequate. Congress needs to AMEND the law.
          Last edited by jlittlecrow; 01-25-2009, 06:28 PM. Reason: color
          Janet Littlecrow
          Littlecrow Trading Post, LLC
          www.littlecrowtradingpost.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Just a question: Isn't there a difference between industrial made things and handycrafts?

            Just a question...mhmmmm

            When you call it ethnographic items????...mhhmmmm


            when I get a Roach through the duty here- I try to get it declared as "Decorating item made of wood and stone"- Happenend one time- because the roach-stick, the roach was wrapped at, was from wood...

            when I ship out a southern style fur trailer, I ship it out as scarf for the neck--- because of the fur, that is prohibited here.

            I mean- when you sell the stuff as decorative handmade items? Sometimes its a way of declaring things.
            When somebody asks--- it's tourist stuff for their walls.

            Just an opinion- I don't know if it works....
            Last edited by Elke; 01-25-2009, 06:32 PM. Reason: it was not clear what I meant before, I think- thats why

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jlittlecrow View Post
              TKMJ - You obviously haven't read the law or any of the legal opinions. This legislation flies in the face of legal precedent. MSDS sheets are NOT acceptable documentation under this law - that's one of the easy fixes here, but Congress isn't biting. Finished Goods producers who buy their raw materials in the US are NOT considered CONSUMERS under this law, they are considered MANUFACTURERS. Totally back-asswards, legally. EACH SIZE & COLORWAY OF EACH BATCH of finished goods must be tested, even though raw materials are already certified legal.

              XRF testing by a CPSIA certified lab is acceptable for SOME products until August. It's still expensive, and most XRF-capable labs aren't CPSIA-certified. In August, it goes to destructive testing by an independent 3rd party certified lab. Most CPSIA-certified labs are in CHINA. How are you going to do destructive testing on a girls beaded buckskin dress? Make 2 of them, so that your "batch" can be tested? Chromium used to dry commercially tanned deerskin might throw off the tests. I'm not a chemist but I know that XRF testing also picks up chromium. In August, EVERYTHING requires labeling with cradle-to-grave documentation that heretofore has only been required of aircraft parts. MSDS sheets are NOT acceptable under the law. That's why everyone is raising the alarm!

              We have ALWAYS followed the laws. But both of us have been held at FBI gunpoint, when our employers were raided. As an IT manager at an aircraft parts broker, FBI agents busted into my office with guns drawn, & I was held prisoner for a day under threat of arrest for "hindering a criminal investigation" if I left. It's not something that I want anyone else to experience.

              This law authorizes State Attorney Generals to prosecute violators. So if your State AG's office is hostile towards Indians, guess who may be targeted? Think about the Indian smoke shop raids. KS officials impounded a Ho-Chunk gasoline tanker. You think the toy police aren't going to be trolling powwows, but Fish & Game troll powwows regularly. The 500 new enforcement people authorized under the law are going to be checking businesses, crafts festivals, anywhere violations can occur. Anyone engaged in business is a target.

              SuzzeQ4 - Yup, imports & exports are banned too. I can't export to Canada, you can't export to the US. Antique sellers are going to be hurt by this provision, as it's been ruled retroactive.

              This is a very fluid situation, because Congress is starting to feel the pressure from citizens. So far, they're telling the CPSC to make exceptions. A few exceptions issued by the CPSC aren't going to be adequate. Congress needs to AMEND the law.
              MSDS sheets not acceptale?????? They have always been acceptable by law in the US. If this is infact the case with the new law, regulia sales should go underground to Native Americans only. Call them a hand made gift. A gift of monitary value could be given later as a thank you. At least it would help stop the wanabi from getting a hold of Native made regulia.


              Besides if a native is selling regulia to the wanabi, they are adding to the problem of wanabi dancing at powwow.
              Don't ask me what I think about something unless you want a truthful anwser. It may not be the anwser you are looking for.

              It's better to fly with the eagles then drive with the turkeys.

              Duct tape has a light side and dark side that binds our universe together.

              Bad attatude lessons available here. To inquire, Check the box to the right. []

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm thinking...was posting my ideas here but then thought that might not be the smartest idea

                Comment


                • #9
                  if a native is selling regulia to the wanabi, they are adding to the problem of wanabi dancing at powwow.

                  TKMJ: Don't try to marginalize the threat of this law by making it into a wanabi issue

                  Seriously folks, if your tribe sells childrens t-shirts, DVD's, moccasins, cultural & language books for children in the tribal gift shop, it's a legal issue for your tribe. If you buy or sell supplies or regalia items for children, or have kids or grandkids, it will affect you.

                  Congress shouldn't pass laws that make Indian artisans & business people into felons while supporting our cultures. That's a throwback to laws 100 years ago. The neighborhood granny who makes baby moccasins shouldn't be forced to slink around "underground" to sell her wares like the guy who is always trying to sell eagle feathers.

                  Forcing Native cultures to go underground again is NOT an acceptable solution to the problem. Pressuring Congress to amend the law is the appropriate action. I REPEAT - CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES.
                  Last edited by jlittlecrow; 01-25-2009, 08:57 PM. Reason: color
                  Janet Littlecrow
                  Littlecrow Trading Post, LLC
                  www.littlecrowtradingpost.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jlittlecrow View Post
                    if a native is selling regulia to the wanabi, they are adding to the problem of wanabi dancing at powwow.

                    TKMJ: Don't try to marginalize the threat of this law by making it into a wanabi issue

                    Seriously folks, if your tribe sells childrens t-shirts, DVD's, moccasins, cultural & language books for children in the tribal gift shop, it's a legal issue for your tribe. If you buy or sell supplies or regalia items for children, or have kids or grandkids, it will affect you.

                    Congress shouldn't pass laws that make Indian artisans & business people into felons while supporting our cultures. That's a throwback to laws 100 years ago. The neighborhood granny who makes baby moccasins shouldn't be forced to slink around "underground" to sell her wares like the guy who is always trying to sell eagle feathers.

                    Forcing Native cultures to go underground again is NOT an acceptable solution to the problem. Pressuring Congress to amend the law is the appropriate action. I REPEAT - CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES.
                    Congress has listened very little in the past on Native issues. It may be time to go within the system. You may want to contact the Native people who were awarded jobs to help push the cause. Here is a list within this article. Indianz.Com > News > Jodi Rave: Natives on Obama transition team
                    Don't ask me what I think about something unless you want a truthful anwser. It may not be the anwser you are looking for.

                    It's better to fly with the eagles then drive with the turkeys.

                    Duct tape has a light side and dark side that binds our universe together.

                    Bad attatude lessons available here. To inquire, Check the box to the right. []

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Our attorney was in DC last week for the inauguration & made contacts w/NDNs in the administration already. They know them from being a tribal judge.
                      Janet Littlecrow
                      Littlecrow Trading Post, LLC
                      www.littlecrowtradingpost.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jlittlecrow View Post
                        Our attorney was in DC last week for the inauguration & made contacts w/NDNs in the administration already. They know them from being a tribal judge.
                        This may be Obama's first test on his words for Native Americans. Let's see if his words were true.
                        Don't ask me what I think about something unless you want a truthful anwser. It may not be the anwser you are looking for.

                        It's better to fly with the eagles then drive with the turkeys.

                        Duct tape has a light side and dark side that binds our universe together.

                        Bad attatude lessons available here. To inquire, Check the box to the right. []

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can tell you from the work I do on product compliance for my employer, when a laboratory test is asked for an MSDS cannot be substituted. Further, the test must be preformed by the standard specified. So, if I have good (and expensive) AA or ICP data for Pb, Cd, Cr, Hg etc and the testing standard requires XRF then I have to provide XRF data. If the extraction method differs between one test and another, I have to get both tests done -- even if the results end up being exactly the same.

                          By the by, MSDS are designed as guidelines for end users of chemicals. They tend to list absolutely every risk. Even for me as a chemist is it often hard to adequately assess the risk a compound or preparation is going to pose based solely on an MSDS. Propriety ingredients do not always have to be revealed. Finished goods -- like beads, hides, or thread -- may not have MSDS's.

                          The problem with this law is it took a blanket approach. It assumed at children's goods were produced in several thousand item lots of a given size, color, etc. On that economy of scale, sacrificing one item and paying the testing costs is not an undue burden. However, there are no provisions for one offs or small lots. There is little grandfathering of already made items. Further, as I read the regulations, the testing requirements are tied to finished goods lots and not raw materials.

                          It is a poorly thought out attempt to deal with a real safety issue. One which I think in practice will not significantly impede the real violators but will force small business people into knowing violating the law while simply hoping to remain "under the radar" of their state AG.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            go right to the top....our Vice President is heading a new task force to focus on helping middleclass america improve their standard of living.

                            I, as a middleclass citizen, am greatly concerned by this new law (H.R.4040) as my kids depend on the income my work-from-home crafts business generates.

                            HR4040 will effectively kill individual artists and micro-manufacturers by requiring rediculously expensive lead testing.

                            Only super large manufacturers and retailers will be able to comply with HR4040

                            goto the white house's website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/strongmiddleclass/

                            in the bottom right corner is a submission form for you to submit your ideas to the task force......BEG them to repeal or rewrite HR4040

                            -walela49
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