My Frustration with Our Government & the CPSIA

Angela Vinez DesignsMost of you know that I run an online design service business. In that business, I also offer some handmade products. According to the CPSIA, I need to stop selling those handmade items that are intended for children, and I will be taking the next few weeks to pull those items off my website. So, if you need something, you’d better grab it now, because soon I won’t be selling things like tutus and custom hairbow bouquets any more.

You may have no idea what I’m talking about or why this bothers me so much, and I totally understand why. It can be quite confusing.

Here’s the definition of the CPSIA, according to this website:
The CPSIA stands for the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act which is a law that was enacted in August of 2008.

The stated purpose of this bill is to “establish consumer product safety standards and other safety requirements for children’s products and to reauthorize and modernize the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

The CPSIA requires that all products intended for children under 12 are tested and certified as meeting the lead limits as set forth in the law. Phthalate testing is also required for toys intended for children under 12 or “child care articles” for children under three.

Basically, if you’re a working mother, and you produce products for children under the age of 12, you need to have expensive third party testing done to make sure your products meet the required lead levels. The thing is, this isn’t just directed at painted items, this is for all items. Even an item like a tutu that couldn’t possibly contain any lead.

The idea behind this law was good. Remember back when Mattel had all of those toys recalled because of the high lead level content? This law was started to protect our kids from that. The problem is, this law is putting many working mothers out of business. When I stop selling these handmade items, I’m going to hurt my income severely. Most of these items are my biggest sellers, aside from blog designs. But our government views these handmade items as dangerous. And I can’t afford the third party testing for each item, as it’s outrageously priced!

That’s not even the worst part! I found this article the other day that actually gives Mattel a pardon! They don’t have to go through the third party testing. And they’re the reason for the law in the first place! But, apparently, if one has enough money, one can buy off our government. Doesn’t say much for the working mother struggling to put food on the table for her kids now, does it?

In all honestly, I don’t understand everything about the CPSIA, but I know that it’s affecting many working mothers and their income. The businesses that we should be supporting – WAHMs – are the ones being forced out because large companies can pull strings and get pardoned.

Tell me your thoughts about this. Are you a working mother who has been affected by the CPSIA? And I’d love to know what you think about Mattel’s pardon, whether you’re a working mother or not.
Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.


  1. 1

    I think the regulation is flawed, the idea is good, keeping hazardous materials away from children but the burden should not be on the consumer, in this case, really the artisan who makes the tutu, barette, etc. but the manufacturer of the materials should be responsible for this testing. Sorry, Angie, your work is wonderful and I think is Crazy!!!

  2. 2

    I meant to type I think this is crazy.
    I need more caffiene!

  3. 3

    The crappy thing is, I think this applies to eBay, too. I'm surprised they're still going ahead with this- I had heard there was a petition to try and get this amended. Worth looking into.

  4. 4
    karenmed409 says:

    I was following this topic last fall and I too am one that had to make a decision on a few items to drop from my website. There was a lot of gray area on what is allowed and what is not. I did personalized mug, steins, plates etc and I just did not want the headache later on and decided to just stick to digital downloads instead.

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