Not physically, but as represented by Jill Chuckas of Crafty Baby, Kate Glynn of A Child’s Garden and Impish, and Randy Hertzler of euroToyShop of the Handmade Toy Alliance board. I’m so excited by what they do that I sometime worry that I’ll look like a stalker. I promise I’m not. I’m just astonished and relieved at how well HTA has unraveled the knot of CPSIA (the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a law that has far-reaching effects on anyone in the children’s products industry). I don’t doubt that my reaction builds from the emotional situation created from knowing my business is on the line.
When it all shakes out, I am enormously proud of the work of the Handmade Toy Alliance. I’m moved by the testimony of Jill Chuckas today at the Senate Commerce Sub-Committee oversight hearing regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
I know how hard they have worked over the past two years to become the excellent citizens they are, learning how the sausage of legislation and regulation is made and determining the best way to influence that process. I try to support them in what they do because I’ve been in a similar situation, and I know how disheartening it can be when you do your best to reach an ambitious goal and the people you are working for are still frustrated. Oh, yes, I’m still frustrated, but I’m not frustrated with HTA. They are doing a fine job of harnessing the energy of frustration (& worry & anger & despair) in ways that work positively toward the desired end: laws and regulations with which we have any chance at all of complying.
HTA is at the table. HTA has helped all of us who make and sell handmade products to understand how we can have our concerns heard. We aren’t running in circles*. We are focused on real fixes to CPSIA that will help everyone arrive at the shared goals of safe products for children and compliant micro businesses.
Handmade Toy Alliance seeks 5 possible solutions to CPSIA:
- Component-based testing.
- Exemptions from testing for materials known by science not to pose a lead or phthalate contamination hazard.
- Harmonization with European Standards.
- Exempt permanent batch labeling of products for hand crafted and micro businesses that have small batch runs.
- Revisit the retroactivity of the CPSIA based on a risk-based approach.
American Apparel & Footwear Association recommends 8 ways to fix CPSIA
- Ensure that all product safety decisions are based on risk and supported by data
- Give the CPSC more flexibility to interpret CPSIA
- Ensure that new regulations do not contradict existing ones.
- Ensure prospective application of all rules
- Establish deadlines that permit and encourage compliance.
- Publicize all pending regulatory developments
- Avoid “One Size Fits All Approaches”
- There is more to the CPSC than CPSIA
And, always remember:
*When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.