Thursday, January 8, 2009

When good ideas go awry

This morning a favorite customer of Annarella stopped in to ask me what I knew about the new regulations to control lead in children's products. I had to confess ignorance to the details. But when she told me it might affect the girls dresses and skirts I make, I started to do some research. This is a major economic news story which will impact childrens stores, toy stores, resell, thrift stores and even small handcrafters like me. Please read the LA Times story for a good view of what we have to face if this law is enacted as planned on Feb. 10. It appears that I cannot make and sell children's clothing without extensive and expensive testing to certify they are lead free.

Another good site with a link to a letter to Congress asking for changes is Enkor Kids. I made sure my Texas Senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Carter as well as my Representative John Cornyn received an email as well as a hard copy of my request to take another look at the law and enact some changes to make it possible for handcrafters, in particular, to create and sell goods. And also look at ways to work with thrift and resale shops.

I hope the dialogue grows until it cannot be ignored. There has to be a solution somewhere between the law as written which appears to mean many second-hand items will end up in landfill, and small businesses like mine will be unable to afford testing or waiting for all the components used to be tested and allowing lead-filled toys, materials and supplies into our country and into the mouths of our children and grandchildren.

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