Have you heard about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, or CPSIA for short? No? Well, our government has really done it this time!
The CPSIA is a new requirement for all items intended for babies and children. Its aim is good: keep kids safe from lead. But it's insane! Under its provisions, handmade items, especially one-of-a-kind handmade toys and clothes, are no longer feasible to make and sell.
In a nutshell, it requires that every single item intended for children and babies be tested for lead and the like, and have a tag permanently affixed to it. That may sound reasonable, right?
Think about it. If your neighbor is a seamstress who makes custom christening gowns for babies, she now has to make TWO IDENTICAL DRESSES and send one off to be tested (which destroys it). The remaining dress must have a permanent tag affixed to it, stating that it is safe.
If a handmade item is sold in a store, the store must display a certificate for that item, and for every other children's item! How does that work?
It's insane! For more information, see Craftzine's excellent post on the topic.