The Alliance for Children's Product Safety's "CPSIA Casualty of the Week" highlights how the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is disrupting the U.S. marketplace in order to draw attention to the problems faced by small businesses, public institutions, consumers and others trying to comply with senseless and often contradictory provisions of the law. These provisions do nothing to improve product safety, but are driving small businesses out of the market.
Congress and the CPSC need to address the problems with CPSIA implementation to help small businesses by restoring "common sense" to our nation's product safety laws.
CPSIA Casualty of the Week for January 11, 2010
NEW SAFETY LAW CLEANING OUT "THE KIDS CLOSET"
Kitty Boyce worked for 18 years to build her resale shop, The Kids Closet, located in Rochester, IL, into a well-known resale shop. With its colorful signage, brightly decorated interior and whimsical whale logo, The Kids Closet built its reputation on offering customers quality second-hand children's products at great values.
Shortly after being voted the "Number One Place to Shop Resale" by the Illinois Times, Kitty announced that because of CPSIA she was converting her store to sell predominately teen and adult clothing, home accessories and furniture, and changing its name to Remarkable Resale. The loss of revenue in her shop due to the changes in inventory forced her to lay off several employees.
"CPSIA has been devastating for us," said Kitty. "We just decided to get rid of all the toys and furniture. It's just not worth the risk."
While the Consumer Product Safety Commission has temporarily stayed requirements for testing and certifying products, all resale shops still must comply with the new lead and phthalate standards. Realistically, resale shops cannot be 100 percent certain that the used items meet the new requirements.
Due to the over-reaching law, Kitty Boyce's dedicated attempts to provide children and families with reasonably priced, gently used baby equipment, furniture and toys have been shut down. For Kitty and others, the risk of enforcement action by state attorneys general or private groups is too great. The result is that during one of the worst economies in decades, resale shops around the country are avoiding selling winter clothing for kids and other children's products.
This winter, ask Congress how denying a perfectly safe used winter coat to a child whose parents can't afford to buy a new one is protecting that child's health.
For more information about Kitty Boyce, visit http://www.thekidscloset.net/closet.htm
For additional information on the Alliance for Children's Product Safety and CPSIA, and to view previous "Casualties of the Week, visit http://www.AmendTheCPSIA.com/.