Our toys are, and always were, safe. Every paint we’ve used is certified non-toxic and lead-free. We have documentation certifying every finish and glue that we use, as well. Unfortunately, none of this matters. The CPSIA legislation will require that we get a separate, destructive, 3rd party test on every single end-product toy we sell – regardless of the components, regardless of the cost. For a company that runs small productions, the costs of testing are so high that there is no way to cover them, let alone make any profit selling the products. For a company like ours, which does most of its business in custom, one-of-a-kind toys, the testing process would destroy each product before it could get to the customer that ordered it.
We do not mass produce our products, for that our customers love us, and for that congress has made it impossible for us to continue selling our toys without breaking the law. Some small businesses are taking the “just keep selling things until they catch you” approach, but I am not comfortable with that attitude. Regardless of my personal feelings towards this law, it is still law. Even if I could get my mind around the idea of ignoring a law because I disagree with it, the fines in place for ignoring the impossible requirements of this law are astronomical.
Our coverage of the CPSIA is here. Walter Olson's ridiculously comprehensive coverage of the act, its crushing effects on various segments of American small business, and the fecklessness of the people who passed it and will implement it is here.
The CPSIA is a perfect example of the members of a shallow media-driven government — strangers to substantive debate, rigorous inquiry, or principle — reacting hysterically to a misperceived risk, voting upon a lengthy grab-bag of provisions that few of them read and fewer of them understood, crushing lives as a result, and reacting with intransigence, entitlement, and defensiveness when challenged on it.
We can do better. We could hardly do worse.
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