Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Making Sense of the CPSIA New Guidelines (Intro)

As Designer Y delves into the confusion out there in the world of WAHM designing, and unravels the legalese surrounding the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) proposed new guidelines; which are causing quite the ruckus out there in the handmade & boutique communities, the Designing-Minds blog will attempt to bring you several non-biased, informative articles that outline the facts and what this new legislation, if indeed, approved, will mean for the cottage industry of designing moms.

Designer Y will most likely, throw in a few editorial articles, because Designer Y is most impassioned about this so if you want to know what I *really* think, the stories with (editorial) in the titles are written by Designer Y and have my personal views as content.

Introduction to the CPSIA
The Goal of the CPSC is to protect consumers from unsafe products. They are a "watchdog" government agency. They have come out with a new set of guidelines recently entitled The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (Referred to as the CPSIA) of 2008.

The goal of this act is to lower lead content in children's products to the lowest level possible. There are three sections of this Act. The first Section, deals with the amount of lead contained in paint and what the CPSC considers acceptable levels for children and a timeline for restructuring and lowering these guidelines.

When the CPSC uses the term Paint, this means paint and similar surface coatings such as glazes or stains. The new guidelines the CPSC has proposed for lead content in any paint or surface coating is meant to apply to Toys, Jewelry and other articles intended for use by children ages 12 and under. This also includes certain furniture items such as cribs, dressers etc. but does not include such items as wall hangings, window shades or draperies.

The other two sections of the CPSIA of 2008: Parts 2 & 3 deal with HOW items should be tested for lead content and how certain parts of a toy may be excluded from these new lead level guidelines if it is sealed inside of a toy or object where under normal use by a child would render it unreachable. (Such as the small inner workings of an electronic toy which has a motor sealed inside it and the child can not gain access to the motor).

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