Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No More Second-Hand Clothing and Items

I told you I live under a rock.

I missed this. I totally and utterly missed this.

From The Simple Dollar:

For those of you who haven’t heard the news yet, on February 10, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act comes into effect. One of the major changes that this program will bring into play is a mandate that everything sold for children 12 and younger will have to be tested for lead and phthalates, and anything that isn’t tested (or that fails) will be considered hazardous and cannot be sold. Read more about the CPSIA at the L.A. Times and some interesting blog commentary from the fashion industry.

For new products, this isn’t an issue at all and is in fact a good thing. Many products are already being screened with such tests, and those that are not will be required to begin such testing shortly or will be pulled from the market. In terms of safety for my children, I’m quite happy with the effects of this law on new products.

Where things get interesting is with used products. Consider your local resale and thrift shop. Currently, all of their secondhand children’s clothes will have to be tested for lead and phthalates. Given that many such stores aren’t high-income operations - many are nonprofits - these shops simply cannot afford to do the testing on the children’s clothes on their shelves.

Wonderful plan, isn't it? Fill the landfills with things that are most likely more than safe to pass along to others. No more FreeCycle groups, no more resale shops, no more thrift shops, etc. Yes, I understand the troubles of lead-based paints and such, of the ills of those flame-retardant materials and so forth. But this is pretty poorly written in such that it eliminates everything, and then sends it to landfill instead.

From Hearty Works blog:

No more clothes. No more toys. Not at any second hand shoppe (unless they try to get around it like one lady commented in a post from Like Merchant Ships in which they put "For Adult Use Only" sign near the toys and get away with it LOL!)

Many etsy stores will have to find something else to sell or stop selling entirely. And many of our favorite cloth diaper making mommy sites will be closing their doors or limiting products.

And what about garage sales or craigslist? Who knows? It is too soon to tell (or understand the new law as it is written).

WHAT am I talking about?

No More Thrift Store Kid Stuff
Shopping For Used Children's CLothes Could Get a Lot Harder

I REALLY liked what Meredith wrote. It is a VERY Proverbs 31 approach to the whole crisis.

Now this thought process I really like. Back to a true sense of community like we used to have in this country. I don't really see it happening on a large scale, but in smaller communities, this is already happening,so maybe it could spread out some. We can always hope.

I loved one commenter on a blog noting this -- used clothing is nasty and should be destroyed. Why aren't we buying clean things, made in America instead. we even have "American made" clothing anymore? And for crying out loud, are folks actually buying things at thrift shops and yard sales and wearing them right then and there? Now that is rather nasty. I have a washing machine, I know how to clean clothing...I'm hardly tossing dirty used ites at my children, covered in smoke, dirt and animal hair.

Here's the blurb from ThunderWolf Ranch:

Do You Buy or Sell Pre-owned Clothes and Toys for your kids???? As of FEB. 10 2009 you will not be able to ANYMORE!

In August of 2008, important legislation passed that was intended to protect children from harmful lead in toys, equipment and clothing. Although the intention is good, the bill that was passed is poorly written. Thus, it will prohibit the resale of ANY used clothing, toys, equipment for children unless you can PROVE it is lead free. This means that stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Kid to Kid, Once Upon a Child, any thrift store, all children's consignment sales, Ebay sales, Craigslist and GARAGE SALES are prohibited from selling children's clothing, toys or equipment after FEB. 10, 2009 unless they have had the item tested for lead and can provide verification that it is lead free.

Here is the link to contact your Congressman, even some text you can use if you are not up to formulating a letter yourself. At the very least, urge them to re-write this legislation into something more consumer-friendly!

At the bottom of her article, The Smart Mama explains the legislation so we can understand it a bit better.


Ann'Re @ Home said...

I just found out about this today and I'm just beside myself. Most of the clothes I buy for my son are from thrift stores or consignment shops. I make baby afghans and other baby/children's items to sell online and at craft shows and now I don't know what I'm going to do. :(

Ante Family Agrarians said...

I must be with you under that rock somewhere. I hadn't heard this yet, and am shocked!!! What are they thinking, okay they're really not on this one. I've always bought my children second hand clothing. Well maybe the free store will still be able to stay open, they're not selling it. Just giving it away. Ahhh, this is so upsetting.
Peace, Kris

Dana said...

Dear Mrs Dewey Smith,

Not sure if you have seen this or not but I just saw this posted on another site and thought I would pass it along:

Thrift Stores WIN!!!!! Please scroll down till you see ********

January 8, 2009
Release #09-086 CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

CPSC Clarifies Requirements of New Children’s Product Safety Laws Taking Effect in February

Guidance Intended for Resellers of Children’s Products, Thrift and Consignment Stores

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In February 2009, new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) take effect. Manufacturers, importers and retailers are expected to comply with the new Congressionally-mandated laws. Beginning February 10, 2009, children’s products cannot be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) total lead. Certain children’s products manufactured on or after February 10, 2009 cannot be sold if they contain more that 0.1% of certain specific phthalates or if they fail to meet new mandatory standards for toys.

Under the new law, children’s products with more than 600 ppm total lead cannot lawfully be sold in the United States on or after February 10, 2009, even if they were manufactured before that date. The total lead limit drops to 300 ppm on August 14, 2009.

The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. **********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 standards.

The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.

When the CPSIA was signed into law on August 14, 2008, it became unlawful to sell recalled products. All resellers should check the CPSC Web site ( for information on recalled products before taking into inventory or selling a product. The selling of recalled products also could carry civil and/or criminal penalties.

The agency intends to focus its enforcement efforts on products of greatest risk and largest exposure. While CPSC expects every company to comply fully with the new laws resellers should pay special attention to certain product categories. Among these are recalled children’s products, particularly cribs and play yards; children’s products that may contain lead, such as children’s jewelry and painted wooden or metal toys; flimsily made toys that are easily breakable into small parts; toys that lack the required age warnings; and dolls and stuffed toys that have buttons, eyes, noses or other small parts that are not securely fastened and could present a choking hazard for young children.
The agency has underway a number of rulemaking proposals intended to provide guidance on the new lead limit requirements. Please visit the CPSC website at for more information.


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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