“p id=”id2431651” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>Consider this:.
“p id=”id2431657” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>Thrift and consignment store operators nationwide feared they would have to shut down because they wouldn’t be able to afford to test children’s products — including clothes — for lead and phthalates, a chemical used to soften plastic..
“p id=”id2431668” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>There were media reports that stores, including mom-and-pop outlets, would have to fund expensive tests, which could have forced some to go out of business. Rumors that local libraries would not lend children’s books abounded..
“p id=”id2431678” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>No one will argue that we need to protect children (and everyone else) from dangerous products. How the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is supposed to enforce the law, disseminated information about the act left a lot of people scratching their heads..
“p id=”id2431685” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>“There are some media reports that are confusing,” said Adele R. Meyer, executive director of the 1,000-member National Association of Resale & Thrift Shops. “There are some congressional offices that are confused. There are some resale stores that are confused — not our members because we have the correct 2information.”.
“p id=”id2433472” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>Sara Cleveland, communications manager for Northwest Assistance Ministries in Houston, said her agency has removed all items for children 12 and under from its three resale shops. She said NAM is hoping for a “common-sense interpretation” of the law before officials restock the items, which account for $130,000 in annual revenue..
“p id=”id2433486” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>At least, there are some lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who recognize the frustration and are trying to address it. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and four other lawmakers wrote a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to remove acting CPSC Chairwoman Nancy Nord, blaming her leadership for the confusion..
“p id=”id2437577” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>Joe Martyak, a CPSC spokesman, disagrees with the lawmakers’ criticisms..
“p id=”id2437582” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>“I think it’s unjustified to criticize the agency on its efforts because the staff here has been relentless to come up with answers, understand the law and inform the public,” Martyak said..
“h3 id=”id2437610” class=”Text-TextSubhed BoldCond PoynterAgateZero”>Many, many calls”/h3>
“p id=”id2437635” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>He said the agency has been overwhelmed with thousands of calls from the media, retailers, thrift shops, homecrafters and others. The law, he added, had some unforeseen consequences, including the questions about the impact on small businesses, thrift shops and libraries..
“p id=”id2440434” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>In response, the agency issued a news release saying it will not impose a penalty on the sale or lending of books printed after 1985 (that’s when lead was taken out of ink); children’s products made of natural materials, such as wood, cotton, wool or certain metals and alloys that rarely contain lead; or dyed and undyed textiles and nonmetallic thread and trim used in children’s apparel or baby blankets..
“p id=”id2440450” class=”Text-TextBodyRagRight HoustonText”>A.