Save USA Wooden Toys From Going Extinct

The year 2007 many will remember what happened to the toy industry. Reports came out that China was using lead paints in toys. There were many recalls on toys and people started shopping and purchasing USA wooden and handcrafted toys. These USA toymakers are purchasing USA products, providing USA labor and many of these toymakers are small family operations. I know from the fact of being one, that the profit margin isn’t a get rich scheme as it takes many hours to create handmade toys.

Now we step into 2008. There are more problems with China products. In August 2008 a law was passed by congress, HR 4040 dealing with child safety standards for ALL toys and any other items manufactured for use by children under 12 years of age. This bill requires testing of all toy products by an independent government certified lab. Testing also includes a test for plastics in our wood toys!

The cost of this testing can run from $1000 to $4000 on each product. We have nearly 100 products that would have to be tested. And the test has to be done annually!

This issue affects many people:

*Toy stores who will have to destroy all uncertified inventory in August. Imagine our landfill problem and the money the stores will lose. Many will probably have to close their doors, leading to more unemployment.

*Small businesses who cannot afford to buy products due to the increased cost of the testing. At the cost of $4000/ item per year no one will be able to afford to purchase the toys.

*Folks who make any children’s products and sell at Farmer’s markets and craft shows to supplement their incomes.

*Schools that have toys for play time.

*Doctor and dentist offices, hospital waiting rooms.

*Occupational and Physical therapists who use toys to increase motor skills.

*Small businesses (such as ours) that cannot afford the testing and have to go out of business.

*Web sites selling children’s products that will have to shut down (many are run by people trying to supplement their retirement income and have spent sums of money to create their sites.

This law was written to protect children but it was not thought through well. This not only is for handmade wooden toys but for those people who sew clothes, baby items or make anything for children 12 and under. If this law goes into effect on February 10, 2009 it will be a downfall of the American dream and many jobs will be lost.

As stated earlier we purchase USA supplies so therefore those people will not be getting our business. If most of the handmade USA toy business and clothes business close, UPS and USPS will be greatly affected as well. It is a major snowball effect. We have had 3 stores cancel their orders so far as they are not wanting to purchase anything if they will have to discard it to the landfills in August.

There is a small amount of time left to turn this around. Please contact your representatives and senators and ask for an amendment to this law. There is an organization that has formed called Handmade Toy Alliance. This organization has drafted an amendment to the law that would exempt testing for manufactures of less than 5000 items per year and or items made of natural materials.

They also have a petition to submit to the CPSC (Child Products Safety Commission). With this law we are literally killing the hand that feeds us and feeding the ones that harm us.