Monday, January 5, 2009

Speaking up for small business and children's safety

When it comes to the issue of the CPSIA (remember? new lead testing standards for children's products that are so strict they'd hurt many businesses), I haven't had time to look into it as much as I would've liked.

Here's the thing. Today is the deadline for public comment. Ready or not, even if we think we might want to speak up, today is the day to do it.

Here's what to do:

  1. Go to the contact forms for your Representative(s) and Senators (for Arizona voters, that'd be Jon Kyl and John McCain.)
  2. Fill out your name, etc.
  3. Under "message," briefly type out your thoughts on the CPSIA or use a form letter.
I decided to go for it, even though I don't know as much as I'd like, and I certainly don't have all the answers. I just took a few minutes to voice my concerns. If enough of us do this, they'll re-examine the legislation. Here's what I wrote:
As a business owner, I am concerned that the CPSIA is more stringent than necessary when it comes to testing standards. I believe it is possible to keep children safe from lead poisoning without such extreme measures.

The testing required would be far too costly for many small businesses, especially at a time of economic crisis when retail sales are down and credit is hard to come by.

Also, with huge corporate layoffs and unemployment numbers climbing, many individuals are starting their own companies. Why limit their options unnecessarily?

I am glad to hear that some natural materials have already been exempted.

Please request that the CPSC consider further exemptions or revisions to the CPSIA, especially as it relates to small and micro-businesses.
- Could materials (paint, etc.) be tested rather than final products?
- Could small business get a one-time or annual certification proving their processes do not add lead to their products?
- Could we look at standards in Europe and Canada and determine whether they are rigorous enough on their own that products would not need to be re-tested once they are imported to the U.S.?

I appreciate your time and consideration of this matter.

See? Not perfect. Not complete. But making my voice and my concerns heard.

Your turn.


Photo by me. Llama ornament by my talented sister-in-law Elizabeth.

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