Monday, December 29, 2008

Help protect handmade

I know I usually try to avoid anything that prevents me from smart-alecking myself all around the blogosphere, but I've become non-ironically concerned about the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, a very understandable response to the issues with lead poisoning in children's toys last year, but one that threatens to respond with too broad a brush and drive a lot of independent artisans and crafters out of business.

You can learn more abou this act, and what you can do about it, by checking out Cool Mom Picks' explanation of it. If you're in a hurry though, here's the skinny: the act would basically require extensive testing of all materials and items being sold to children, something that sounds like a good idea until you consider the fact that people who are hand-making children's clothing and toys don't have the resources to send all their items out for independent lab testing. The purpose of this law is, of course, to prevent the kinds of toxic disasters caused by irresponsible corporations cutting corners on their manufacturing processes (a goal I wholly agree with). However, it would--ironically--drive those artisans who are already being very careful about the materials they use (but who can't afford to send everything out for testing) out of business.

The most effective way of protesting this too-broad act is to write to your representative (and Cool Mom has handy links with sample letters to help you do that); if you're short on time, however, you can simply go and vote at to modify the act.

Please take just a moment or two to help protect artisans and crafters from being indvertently crushed by laws that weren't written with them in mind.

2 bits of commenty goodness:

Abounader Photography said... 12/29/08, 10:27 AM

I Had no idea about this! Thanks for posting it!

Cats said... 12/29/08, 4:09 PM

I think you are right about this. Hope the law gets amended to allow everybody a fair chance at conducting their business - home based businesses as well as large corporations..

All the best for the holidays and the new year!