Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Act Affects Work from Home Moms

Many of you may have already heard about the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that has been passed and will affect thousands of small business owners, especially moms with a side business out of their home. The act that goes into effect on February 10th , basically imposes stricter regulations for lead and phthalate testing on ALL products for children under the age of 12. This includes books, T-shirts, bodysuits, dolls, wooden toys, educational materials, puzzles, everything. Even things like soft blocks, aprons, crayon wraps, crochet/knit scarves, hats and more will be regulated.

However, rather than punishing the main culprit (toys mass produced in China accounted for every single recall in 2007), the new law will cause independent toys makers, indie designers, and hundreds – if not thousands – of other small business owners specializing in handmade children’s products to close up shop.

The cost of testing each product for lead and/or phthalates could cost anywhere from $100 to $4000 – an impossible price for those who make original, one-of-a-kind pieces, such as baby quilts, hand-carved wooden toys, boutique-style outifits, etc.

Small business owners in the US, Canada and even Europe have taken great care to produce items that are safe for children – mostly because the owners are parents themselves. Though toy producers will take the biggest hit, many children’s apparel companies will be put out of business as well.

The outcry has been HUGE, but more voices are still needed. To learn more about the issue, check out the following sites. CoolMomPicks especially is a great resource.

And to join in the fight to protect work from home moms like you and me, start by signing the petition here. We already have over 17,000 signatures and the more the better!

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