Businesses speak out against terms in consumer product safety act

Group claims of lack of definition in Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is costing manufacturers and retailers. Manufacturers suggest these fixes.
By Control Engineering Staff April 7, 2009

Educational toy manufacturers joined small business owners, authors, crafters, apparel makers, ATV dealers and motorcycle enthusiasts in calling on House and Senate leaders to fix the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) .
“Thanks to the flaws in this new law, millions of perfectly safe products are in the process of being destroyed, costing U.S. businesses billions of dollars in the midst of one of the worst economic crises in history,” said Rick Woldenberg, head of the Alliance for Children’s Product Safety, a coalition of small business owners, manufacturers, crafters and entrepreneurs.


Amend the CPSIA group wants to tell you more.

“The list of products that have been affected is enormous,” continued Woldenberg. “Science supplies to our children’s schools are being drastically curtailed. Youth model ATV and dirt bikes are no longer available, creating a safety issue for children. Even libraries are at risk of legal liability for lending children’s books. And all of these violations of common sense are being done in the name of ‘safety’.”
Among the flaws in the new law pointed out by rally participants include:

  • Lack of concept of risk assessment: the new law has absolute standards that are difficult or impossible to modify. Without consideration of quantifiable risk of injury, far too many safe products are swept up into this broad safety legislation.

  • Overly broad definition of children’s products: by defining children’s products to include all consumer goods intended or designed for use by children up to 12 years of age, the new law incorporates many categories of products not previously subject to regulation or known to present a quantifiable risk of injury to children.

  • Retroactive application of new standards: applying the new law retroactively caused widespread market chaos and significant business losses in a range of industries, including thrift stores, educational suppliers, ATV dealerships, mass market retailers and many others. CPSC staff estimates millions of products wait in storage warehouses for return or destruction.

  • Unreasonable implementation timeline: the new law left businesses insufficient time to sell off inventory or transition manufacturing standards. Nor was there enough time for the CPSC to manage the deluge of questions, certifications, rulemakings, etc. resulting from the law. Lack of preparation time led to larger business losses.

For more information about the activities of this group lobbying for a change in the act, visit amendthecpsia.com .
– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering News Desk
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