February 10th is a day that is haunting retailers. Any toys or children’s clothing that does not meet the new Federal lead requirements must be thrown away. The government issued a Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act last year, stating children’s products for ages twelve and under cannot contain more than six-hundred parts per million total lead, or contain more than point-one-percent of specific phthalates. Research shows that both lead and certain phthalates can harm children.
Toys and children’s items that are currently on the shelves will have to be sent to independent labs for testing. If they do not meet the new requirements, those items will have to be thrown out.
Stores are unofficially calling the start of this act ‘National Bankruptcy Day.’ However, a little relief was given to Thrift and Consignment stores.
On Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission clarified the new requirements by adding that sellers of used children’s products, such as Thrift stores and Consignment stores, are not required to certify their products.
This is all great news for Thrift and Consignment shops, but what about small toy makers. Small toy makers of wood, organic and “lead and phthalate free” toys, including craftswomen/men and Europena toy makers will also have to pay to have their toys tested. Having a toy tested will cost thousands of dollars, which is just not an option for a lot of small toy manufacturers.