Over at PopTort.com, consumer advocate Andy Hoffman says that opponents to the CPSIA need to “grow up”.
I shared this comment with Andy on his blog, but just in case he doesn’t see fit to mark my comment as public, I’ll repost it here. Feel free to join in with your own reply.
Here’s what I had to say to Mr. Hoffman:
You’re only missing one little issue, Andy.
This isn’t about greedy business owners wanting to avoid the lead law.
In a lot of cases, its about stay at home moms who squeeze a second income out of their cottage business and use that as a way to enable them to stay home and be a mom to their kids prior to their kids entry to school.
Some have managed substantial success, doing more than just squeaking by.
These moms (and others) who manufacture organic cotton onesies, tshirts and so forth for infants (along with a litany of other stuff) quite often started making these things *because* of the crap that is sold at WalMart and elsewhere that was found wanting in the environmentally-kind department.
Before you think that I too am just another whiner throwing a tantrum – be aware that I dont own or work for a children’s products business and NONE of my clients are in that category.
What the uproar is really about is giving small businesses who dont have the economies of scale on their side a means of testing that doesnt put them out of business.
When you manufacture (which often means “sew”) something for $6 and tell it for $12, you cant afford to spend $57 to test it. Anyone can see that math isnt going to work.
The big thing that many miss about this law is that it isnt limited to impacting those who make, retail or resell children’s products: it’s the ripple effect throughout the economy from there.
All of those businesses use accountants, lawyers, graphic artists, web site geeks, and so on. All of them will be doing less of that.
To get a full image of the ripple, I suggest you read the post linked to above (in his blog form) and take note that 80% (yes, EIGHTY) percent of the people in the room were standing when I was done asking them to.
If 80% of the businesses in your area are affected by a law that could easily be altered, it might be in your best interest to look at it without wearing the jaundice-tinted Consumer Reports hat.
Small businesses aren’t asking for an exemption and they arent asking for a different set of rules.
All they are asking for is the ability to use the component testing performed by the manufacturer of the lot of cloth, vat of vinyl, etc.
That allows everyone using that lot (etc) to absorb the cost, rather than every manufacturer having to absorb the full cost of the test for every line of items they make from that bolt of cloth and so on.
Your turn: Pay a visit to Poptort.com and let Andy know how grown up you are.