On February 10 a new law is set to take effect that will make it
effectively illegal for any children's products to be sold that have
not been third-party tested for lead. It is the Consumer Product
Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
The way it is written now, it will apply retroactively to clothing and
books as well as toys. This will effectively make it illegal for
anyone to resell used children's clothing or books, as it will not be
financially feasible to have each item third-party tested for lead
I am personally concerned about losing our community's sources of used
clothing, because our household saves a lot of money by purchasing
almost all of our boys' clothing at resale shops. I suspect other
homeschooling families may also count on being able to purchase things
second-hand in order to afford to have one parent at home.
I spoke with our local Once Upon a Child today and they will be
closing their stores nationwide if this law is not changed before it
goes into effect on February 10. Our community would lose yet another
retail business, many families in our area will have financial trouble
clothing their children, the employees will be out of work, and a
store full of perfectly useful clothing will be disposed of. This
would also affect charitable resales such as Goodwill, which make a
large portion of their income from the resale of used children's clothing.
Used booksellers are also gravely concerned that they will have to
dispose of their inventory of used children's books and will no longer
be allowed to resell books that were printed before the new
regulations and labeling were in effect. This prospect is very
upsetting to me because we buy a number of used books from our library
every month. Our 5-yo picks them out himself and buys them for fifty
cents, and he has found some great books, such as several of the Magic
School Bus series. We will not be able to buy him many books if we
have to pay full retail price. Also I was counting on being able to
purchase many books I wanted to have on hand for homeschooling at used
prices. If these books will no longer be available used, this will
dramatically increase the cost of our homeschooling materials.
Furthermore, there are many wonderful classic books written for
children that many homeschoolers might like to use that are now out of
print. If it becomes illegal for anyone to resell them as used books,
they will effectively become extinct. Meanwhile the risk of a child
getting lead poisoning from a book is next to nothing.
I have written my US senator and representative about my concerns
regarding losing my freedom to purchase both used clothing and used
books for our children.
This law does not go into effect until February 10th and there is
still time to get the language changed.
If you want to see the language of this law changed, please let your
voice be heard and contact our senator and US representative, as well
as officials at the CPSC who can decide how to interpret and enforce