Raising a child is expensive enough. You don’t have to already have a child to know this.
Last summer, while this country was in the middle of election hell, some new laws passed regarding safety of products intended for use by children 12 and under. While lower lead sounds like a fantastic idea, the method by which enforcement will be carried out has February 10 of next year dubbed as National Bankruptcy Day.
Long story short, every item of every size and variety must have a certificate obtained by the company selling the items publicly. Nope, this isn’t going to happen on the materials because not every bit of every item at the materials level may be intended for use by children. Rather a company will buy finished items and THEN they are tested. The batch doesn’t pass substantially raised standards, and the entire batch is no good, but already has been paid for. So the loss will be passed to consumers. Every single batch must be certified. Clothes, toys, shampoo, craft kits, you name it, it’s included in this.
Unless this is overturned, you will no longer be able to sell used children’s items on eBay or CraigsList, and this also means thrift stores can’t sell them to you. No more second-hand children’s toys or clothing or ANYTHING for children (certain items second-hand are a bad idea anyway).
Since a lot of smaller companies won’t be able to afford these new regulations, many companies will go out of business. The cost of testing each and every single batch isn’t going to be cheap, and you can bet that the companies that do survive will pass the costs on to consumers, raising the costs of items substantially. This goes for one-of-a-kind handcrafted children’s items too, like wood airplanes, crafts on Etsy, and even my own children’s dresses on my website. Individual certificates for those would be required.
Greco Woodcrafting’s Weblog explains it easiest.
National Bankruptcy Day is a site dedicated to fighting this legislation. Fashion Incubator also has some easy-to-understand information. And let me not forget to give you the link from the government’s own website, in .pdf
It’s a nice idea (lowering lead from 600ppm to about 90ppm, which is really a concern with cheap toys from China), but the execution is horrible and will cost businesses a LOT of money, as well as push items out of the range of affordability for most parents with thrift stores no longer being an option. I hope that, in the end, this is repealed or that it sounds a lot worse than it is, but I don’t know. Until we know, we’re taking precautions and will buy the big baby items we anticipate needing in January, cribs, car seats, strollers. Best case is this is blown out of proportion and isn’t so bad, worst-case scenario is it’s all as bad as it sounds.