No More Rhinestone Cowboys; Destruction Caused by the Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

No More Rhinestone Cowboys; Destruction Caused by the Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

New regulations taking effect today make an awful new law even worse. Government is putting huge new burdens on retailers and manufacturers already reeling from a bad economy.

Treasured children's books published before 1985 already have been removed by the thousands from library shelves and second-hand stores. Also suddenly illegal are many plastics used in children's apparel (such as diapers) and toys. Rhinestones are definitely out, by specific bureaucratic edict. So are lots of children's bikes and all-terrain vehicles. Even clothing zippers are in peril.

Charities are taking it on the chin, with the Salvation Army alone estimating that it will be forced to destroy $100 million of inventory and significantly cut back some of its social services.

The culprit in all this mess is the 2008 Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act, which went into effect in February and which today becomes even more stringent. In February, the law put a limit of 600 parts per million - an absurdly low threshold - of lead in any product intended for use by children. It also banned certain phthalates, which are chemicals used to soften various plastics. Today, the lead limit drops even further, to 300 parts per million.

Also beginning today, every children's product must carry a tracking label identifying the name, location and date of its manufacture. Compliance costs are so exorbitant that one respected manufacturer, Chairman Rick Woldenberg of Learning Resources, Inc., wrote the Consumer Product Safety Commission, This provision alone may bankrupt companies and wipe out entire product lines, all without improving children's product safety. …

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No More Rhinestone Cowboys; Destruction Caused by the Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act
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