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Breathe Easy . . . and Then Call Your Representatives

January 31st, 2009

Article by: Heather Flottman
Owner/Designer
liliputians NYC

As you have probably already read (perhaps here on Boutique Café ) the CPSC has granted a 1 year stay of testing and certification (an excerpt from the press release is in italics below).

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.

However, this issue is NOT over. Stop. Take a breath. Pat yourself on the back. Know that you’ll still be able to continue selling custom outfits, hair bows, or whatever product you create come February 10th. And then regroup.

It is crucial that momentum is not lost. Hope is very near with Senator Jim DeMint of SC (one of the 3 in the Senate who voted “nay” against this along with Senator Jon Kyl and Senator Thomas Coburn) introducing legislation to reform CPSIA. Call, email or write Senator DeMint and tell him “thank you.” Call your senators and tell them you support this. Let common sense prevail.

Keep the heat on Congressman Waxman and other members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Email them. Call (202-225-2927) and let them know that CPSIA needs to be amended. Let them know you support the 6 points presented by Senator Demint. Keep up the fight and save handmade.

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11 comments on “Breathe Easy . . . and Then Call Your Representatives

  1. Lisa thedomesticdiva on said:

    well said Heather!

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  2. Tom Jones on said:

    Heather – you hit the nail on the head here.

    First an introduction. I’m Senator DeMint’s staffer that handle’s CPSC issues for him. A couple quick things.

    If your readers could:

    1) Call their Senator Monday and let them know that the problems with the CPSIA still exist. There are still liabilities issues out there, its not clear yet what retailers reaction to the order will be (its great to not have to test for a year but if no one will sell your goods that a bit of a hollow victory), PIRG is going to sue to overturn the order and the order doesn’t do anything to deal with State AGs. And of course all the problems come back full-bore in a year. Please try to impress these things on your Senator’s office.

    2) When you are on the phone with the office make a very specific ask. Let them know you want the Senator to co-sponsor the DeMint bill. Have their staff contact me. (I work on the Commerce Committee and my email is in the “Global Email Directory.” (they’ll know what that is) I can also be called through the DeMint front office phone line which is 4-6121.) Also let the person on the phone that you’d like a written response on whether the Senator will co-sponsor issue. Finally say thanks for talking to you. The person who answers the phone has the lowest job on the Congressional totem pole and when the phones get hot it can be very stressful. Throwing a little sunlight their way helps.

    The main line for Congress is 202-224-3121. Tell the operator which state you are from and ask to speak to one of your Senators. Once you’re done with that, hang up and do it again with the other Senator.

    Thanks again for all your help with this. If it wasn’t for you guys being so engaged on this issue, it wouldn’t be moving like it is.

    Tom

  3. Pingback: CPSIA Stay of Enforcement-Thoughts Around the Web « THE DOMESTIC DIVA’S DISASTERS™

  4. Diana (Ladybug Limited) on said:

    Thanks for this—great that Sen. DeMint’s staffer weighed in with some steps we can take! I’ve linked to your post and reprinted his comments on my blog. E-mailed my senators too—and will call in the morning!

  5. Pingback: Call your Senator on Monday (Feb. 2) re the CPSIA! Sen DeMint's request! - Hip Girl Boutique Free Hair Bow Instructions--Learn how to make hairbows and hair clips, FREE!

  6. Thank you for this information…I am getting on the phone right now!!

  7. Sherry (BabyPop) on said:

    I placed a call…with some questions I need answered. I am happy that we have a Senator that is out there helping our cause…but

    I am concerned the Demint bill does not address exempt of one of a kinds (maybe because they don’t consider OOAK an issue needing to be addressing) or very small runs.

    Now I am addressing this from a garment manufacturing standpoint, because that is what I know:

    I looked over The new DeMint bill/admendment needs to state not only by supplier certification approval but from the suppliers stand point it should be style # type not dyelot. Because if it is still written as dyelot and the vendor/supplier has to certify by dyelot with 3rd party testing. Then every 4000 yards give or take the vendor has to get the item 3rd party tested, Which means that means delays in fabric delivery and high prices to us the end maker.

    “Style #” being (type of item, specific weight, exact content, fiber/yarn supplier stated, print type, ink type, ect ) And put the ownus on the vendor/suppler that if they change something/someone in there manufacturing chain they get the style retested, and have alternative certificate done by 3rd parties.

    I know we are all very concerned with how the bills affect us directly, but we have to think how it affects our suppliers which ultimately affect us. We must protect the supply chain as well as protecting our children.

    So the bill also need to state the specific in which it is tested. The original bill was created without knowing how items are produced…I could see the law writers of CPSIA sitting there saying “dyelot” sounds like a good word …but it was overkill. Lets not make mistakes in the corrections to it.

  8. Pingback: CPSIA chronicles, February 5

  9. Debra rae on said:

    I am AGAINST removing the stay against the CPSIA. WHY? Because it PENALIZES small businesses who use natural materials that do not contain LEAD or PHYLANTES.

    WHY is it necessary to test a plain 100% cotton tee shirt made by MARY BELL in TN? THere is no way that a 100% cotton tee shirt contains any lead or phylantes. YET thanks to the CPSIA … Mary bell must now send all her merchandise to a pre approved lab in CHINA and pay between $400 and $5000 per ITEM in order to get the certificate which will put her in compliance with the CPSIA.

    The merchandisers, manufacturers, home crafters, micro businesses in the USA and CANADA have provided lead free products. And yet WE are the ones WRONGLY IMPACTED by a ill concieved law filled with nothing but OVER REGULATION that will put millions of people out of business (as well as the people who are EMPLOYED by these businesses can no longer afford to HIRE).

    Simply because the over regulation does not AFFECT YOU NOW, does not mean that it WILL NOT affect you LATER.

  10. Pingback: Boutique Café » Blog Archive » CPSIA Update from Heather Flottman

  11. Pingback: Chalkydoodles Blog » What TO DO TODAY to help Change the CPSIA

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