Video: CPSIA threatens thrift stores and charities

It’s for the kids. Those four words can justify all sorts of mischief in expansion of government powers, and the new Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act is the latest example. The government wants to tighten protection against lead and phthalates in consumer products aimed at children, especially clothing and toys. Thanks to the provisions of the CPSIA, however, anyone reselling used clothes or toys will have to perform testing on the products, including charitable thrifts and organizations that use garage sales as fund raisers:

The Los Angeles Times reported on this last week:

Barring a reprieve, regulations set to take effect next month could force thousands of clothing retailers and thrift stores to throw away trunkloads of children’s clothing.

The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger — including clothing — be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven’t been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.

“They’ll all have to go to the landfill,” said Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Assn. of Resale and Thrift Shops.

The new regulations take effect Feb. 10 under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed by Congress last year in response to widespread recalls of products that posed a threat to children, including toys made with lead or lead-based paint.

Hasty lawmaking leads to bad laws, and in this case hardly addressed the issue at hand, which was bad enforcement of regulations by Chinese authorities. Congress could have simply directed more extensive testing of all products imported from China, which would have (a) addressed the real issue, and (b) not placed a huge regulatory burden on American thrifts and small, independent producers. Instead, it passed a sledgehammer that threatens not just to keep poor people from buying inexpensive clothing for their children and putting independent boutique clothiers out of business, but also accelerate use of landfills for clothes that are perfectly safe to wear. It’s absurd.

Lady Logician writes:

I wonder who will save “the children” from starvation or from the elements when their parents can no longer afford food and clothing thanks to their “good intentions”.

Gee, I thought it was the nanny-state liberals who loved the poor! Pheisty also has more on this subject.