Monday, January 12, 2009
Nonprofit Thrift Stores Exempt From New Federal Law Aimed to Prevent Selling Products Containing Lead for Child Use
The Nonprofit Times reports that nonprofit thrift stores dodged a bullet as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) clarified a law that threatened to paralyze children’s clothing sales by February and would have hit consumers relying on thrift stores for child clothing and toys in the tough economy.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) will require all children’s products sold on or after February 10, 2009 to be tested to make sure the items have less than 600 parts per million total lead content and less than 0.1% specific phthalates, an element that affects plasticity.
The CPSC clarified that under the new safety law, “sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standard.” The bill, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 14, 2008, did not make a distinction between domestic manufacturers and resellers, such as nonprofit thrift stores.
While nonprofit thrift stores will not be required to test all materials, resellers can face civil and/or criminal penalties if they sell products that violate the new limits under the law. The CPSC recommended that nonprofit thrift stores be especially discriminating towards products that may contain lead, including jewelry, painted toys and products with small parts, such as buttons, that a child could swallow. The CPSC, which will be responsible for enforcing the standards, has tentatively approved exemptions for such items as clothing made of natural fibers like cotton, wool and silk.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed in 2008 after scores of toy recalls.