Apparently, the Consumer Products and Safety Commission has authored a bill that has gone through congress that will effect a lot of people. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is set to go into effect on February 10th. This Act is requiring lead and pthalates (a chemical found in plastics) testing to be done on all clothes and toys manufactured for children ages 13 and under. The testing is to be done on clothing and toys both made prior to and after FEbruary 10th.
Why do I care?
Well, two fold. As the mom of almost five children, I purchase clothes quite regularly. I also purchase these clothes at consignment sales (children's seasonal sales) and through thrift stores etc. To purchase these clothes new would cost me a lot of money each season. While I can pass some clothes down from one boy to the other, my oldest, Ace is getting to be a big boy who can wear out clothes pretty quickly.
This new act will effect seasonal consignment sales as well as consignment stores and thrift stores. These sales operators and stores do not possess the funds to purchase the overwhelmingly expensive testing equipment (nor lab work) needed to test every single item.
Therefore, if this act continues as written, I will now have to purchase my children's clothes new. Now, the big name stores may be able to afford the testing, but the testing is still going to cost. I foresee that children's clothes (even those at discount department stores) will have to go up in price to pay for all the extra equipment, personnel, and time put into testing. So, not only will our clothing budget (that is already strapped) be stretched once, but twice to make way for the new requirements.
Another concern I have is for all the used clothes out there. I can not resale any of my children's used clothes, per the new act (this includes not being able to sale it at a garage sale), so we have to throw it away. That means throwing away perfectly decent clothing that could be purchased (or donated) to other people just because my children outgrew it. Doesn't that negate the whole, "Let's Be Green," "Save the Planet," kick we've all gotten on. Not only that but it's just creating more trash...yuk.
Will I contact my representative's? Yes, I believe I have to. With the economy already strapped, it seems senseless to put such a strain on families. I will also, probably, be taking some sewing lessons while I'm at it!