Congress And The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)

Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August 2008. George Bush signed it.  On the surface, it was a good idea, but when you look at the law of unintended consequences, it has been a disaster.

The law was passed in response to the Chinese toys (manufactured for American toy companys) that came into this country in 2007 that had unacceptable amounts of lead and other dangerous chemicals or that had small parts that could pose a risk to children.  According to

“…the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in children’s products, mandates third party testing and certification, and requires manufacturers of all goods for children under the age of 12, to permanently label each item with a date and batch number.

“…Small businesses however, will likely be driven out of business by the costs of mandatory testing, to the tune of as much as $4,000 or more per item. And the few larger manufacturers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.”

One of the problems of this law is that it also includes used items.  Anyone selling or giving used children’s clothing will be subject to this law.  According to the article:

“It will be illegal to sell or give these items away to charities, and the government will require their destruction or permanent disposal, resulting in millions of tons of unnecessary waste, and placing an enormous strain on our landfills.”

Obviously Congress overreacted and needs to change the law.  Further information on the law and some of its unintended consequences can be found at Learning Resources.  This is a Congressional mistake we need to fix.

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