Friday, January 23, 2009

Impending Doom

I did what I often do on Sundays and went to Guardian Angel today. If you don't know, that's a thrift store which donates their profits to Alzheimers reserach. The employees appeared to be doing extra cleaning in the back of the store in both the 'guy' section and the 'toy' section. The boys were disappointed that all they had out in the toy section were stuffed animals. The action figures, baby toys, cars, etc. were all gone. We browsed the store anyway. I picked out a few shirts. Joey had a few books. Johnny a new stuffed doggie. We were having a good time until the girl at the checkout told us that they won't be selling toys anymore. SAY WHAT?!? She goes, "Haven't you heard about the Consumer Product Safety Commission Improvement Act of 2008?" "Um, no, what's that?"

Remember all those recalls last year over lead in toys? How could you forget mailing back Thomas the Tank Engine engines or scrutinizing the latest Fisher Price recall notice.

All I can figure is that all those recalls sent some politicians into overdrive and they came up with this absolutely horrible response. In a nut shell, the new IMPROVEMENT to the act is going to mandate lead testing on toys and clothes intended for kids under 12 (or is that 12 and under?). The gist is that thrift stores really can't afford to test toys donated to them, and if they sell a toy that is later found to have a high lead content, they can be held liable. This applies to large companies that can afford the testing and to small businesses and crafty type people who make new toys and clothing for kids.

Can you just imagine how much this will cut into thrift store profits? Can you see the small business owner put out of business? Are we THAT concerned about lead in our kids' toys. Are we that incapable of reviewing recall notices and handling any toys in our homes included in them?

Oh, and apparently this applies to yard sales too. Can we even hand-me-down toys to family and friends without fear of liability?

Oh, I'm steaming on this one.

Think of all the additional toys that will end up in landfills because people like me have no place to donate them anymore. Do those politicians also have a plan for how to handle that?!? I thought buying used toys was a great way to be green. Not only did I save on all the packaging that new toys come in, but I also kept toys out of the landfill.

Think about all the poor parents out there thrilled to find a good quality hand-me-down at the local thrift store or yard sale so that they don't disappoint their kids at Christmas.

Think about the livelihood of small business owners crushed by this new law.

Did I mention I'm fuming over this?

It's time for a 'Change We Need' so let's get this fixed and ASAP.

Here's another interesting article.


Major Mom said...

Hey! I received some Facebook traffic on this one -- the prez of Kid 2 Kid consignment stores was interviewed about it! I was very disappointed in this -- makes you wonder if the toy lobby is somehow involved, since it's now so hard to pass along second-hand toys, we're left with pouring more profits into Mattel and Hasbro!

I didn't even think to open dialogue with you about it -- I think I had first heard when I got over here a couple weeks ago from Teresa Lippy, a Waterford Green friend.

Geez -- consignment and yard sales were my saving grace from having too many toys in the house, I always felt less guilty knowing they'd continue to be enjoyed by another child! It also reduced my guilt in investing in so many toys for my boys...

Anonymous said...

Yeah - the whole thing really stinks. It was nice to able to get new things without having to pay full price. And, really nice to pass things on when we were done. I hate the thought of just throwing things away when another child could enjoy it.
Just makes no sense to me.