New CPSIA Guidelines: Should We Feel Relieved?

On Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released CPSIA guidelines for resellers stating that “Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.” and prompting consignment shop owners to send out notes of reassurance to their customers which contained the above quote from the guidelines.

The guidelines tell resellers that they’re responsible for everything they sell, but to focus their screening efforts particularly upon the following:

  • recalled children’s products
  • children’s jewelry
  • painted wooden or metal toys
  • toys that are easily breakable into small parts
  • toys without age warnings
  • dolls and stuffed toys that have buttons, eyes, noses or other small parts that are not securely fastened

Resellers will simply have to make an educated guess about the status of many children’s items, and I have to say that it makes me uneasy that the reseller faces “civil and/or criminal penalties” if s/he guesses incorrectly. I’m overjoyed, however, that kiddie consignment shops like Kid-to-Kid and Once Upon a Child and thrift stores feel confident enough to announce that they will be able to continue selling second-hand children’s toys, clothes, and gear. That’s reassuring news for parents who sell or buy children’s items on ebay, at garage sales, and at church consignment sales.

The CPSIA, as it stands now, will still have disastrous effects on those here in the United States who make their living crafting toys and children’s clothes, and other items for children. I urge you to continue to insist that exceptions be made that will protect these artisans. You can learn more at National Bankruptcy Day.

Thanks to all of you who sent me the link to the new CPSIA guidelines.

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