Friday, January 9, 2009

Letter to Rush Subcommittee About Shoe Repairs under the CPSIA

From: Rick WoldenbergSent: Fri 1/9/2009 10:36 PM
To: ''; ''; ''
Cc: ''; ''; ''; ''; Etienne Veber; ''; ''; 'Stephen Lamar ('; 'Nancy Nord ('; 'Joe Martyak ('; 'Mary Toro ('; ''; 'Patrick Magnuson (';;; Bob Edmonson (; Melanie Trottman (; Carter Keithley (; Rick Locker (; Desmond, Edward; David Callet (;; Pamela Gilbert (; Robert Adler; Dan Marshall (;
Subject: RE: CPSIA - More Happy Customers!

In my continuing effort to clarify the horrifying reach of the CPSIA and its gratuitously damaging impact on our economy, I thought you might enjoy reading the below blog entry. No more shoe repairs for kids, I guess - unless Congress thought the local cobbler was going to establish an account with Intertek. Or was the idea that the CPSC would write a series of FAQs, interpretations, legal opinions and a few pages of rules and regulations for shoemakers to sort it all out??? Ah, that's the ticket!

I love one of his comments: "What are they trying to do, criminalize everyone"? That's a heckuva question, don't you think? I wonder why anyone would write a safety law that applies to every conceivable situation and every conceivable product with absolutely no regard to risk or known injuries. I haven't figure it out yet, but I am trying.

I know from talking to you that it frustrates you deeply that no one "understands" the CPSIA. I am sure you feel Mr. Belroc below doesn't "get it" and needs to be corrected in his reading of the CPSIA. Perhaps, perhaps not. But I think you are onto something interesting. If everyone keeps getting this super-clear and simple law "wrong" and needs perpetual correction (that's a good job for the CPSC, perhaps for the next few decades), apparently either none of us are smart enough to read law properly without assistance, or maybe something is seriously wrong with the law. Couldn't be the law . . . must be the dumb businessmen who can't read.

By the way, you are always welcome to join my blog at I post many items there, and you will find many people there who are interested in the mysteries of CPSIA compliance. I find the dialogue fascinating and I am sure you will, too. There are many people out there, parents, teachers, store owners, businessmen, charities, and so on, scrutinizing what your law is doing to them. You can see their pain firsthand if you join our community. In fact, you should be able to find this letter there, too.

Richard Woldenberg
Learning Resources, Inc.

Belroc said...
Outside the Box--I'm a librarian and leather worker, and have the exact same problem you do in both fields. Under the new law, there is NO exemption for handmade items, or for small-scale production, and this new ruling only confuses whether libraries can a)keep our children's items on the shelves and b)continue to have booksales which include children's books and videos.From what I gather, as a leatherworker, I constitute an original manufacturer. If I make a pair of shoes for a child I would need to test the finished product for total lead and phthalate content. So long as all of my shoes are made from components from the same batches, that one test would suffice. However, as soon as I run out of the original components and use one from a different production batch, I'd need to run a new test on the finished product--and using open-market, pre-tested components does not suffice, since the adult lead standards are different from the new ones for children. Sometimes I think Ayn Rand hit the nail on the head when she wrote Atlas Shrugged, because at $100-200 per test it's just a tad bit onerous. *insert sarcasm here* What are they trying to do, criminalize everyone?As a librarian, I can say that the American Library Association is attempting to clarify how this applies to us because the General Counsel refused to exempt books and paper productsfrom the law. At this point, when the regulations go into effect we will either have to pull every book we have for children under 12 (including textbooks and everything else in school libraries) or simply not allow children under the age of 12 to enter. Either that, or we test every single book on our shelves...Either way, and from both perspectives, my suggestion is simple: write to the US congress, write to the state congress, and make sure everyone you know does the exact same thing, because this will make nearly everyone who makes and sells anything into a criminal.
January 9, 2009 2:50 PM

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