Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Open response to today's email campaign

Thank you so much for writing me about your concerns with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s pending decision to lift the stay of enforcement on testing and certification for lead content. I am very concerned that lifting the stay prematurely will devastate the market – particularly, small businesses. There is no reason to rush lifting the stay for testing and certification of products that contain lead in a form that does not affect a child’s health.

We need to find a way to make the CPSIA a practical law that will protect children from risk without creating a cost-prohibitive compliance process. Small manufacturers and retailers cannot spread the price of compliance over as many items as larger companies. For this reason, the component testing rule is a fundamental element of compliance and has to precede any lifting of the stay. We should avoid making it financially difficult for American businesses employing American workers to bring innovative, quality products to market that comply with the law.

I am actively looking for a way to bring a reasonable, common sense interpretation to the CPSIA. I led the effort to ask the Commission to support a more flexible interpretation, but unfortunately it did not receive a majority of the Commissioners' votes. Hopefully we can find a reasonable path forward before the stay is lifted.

I invite you to read my new blog, The examples you are sending me really help demonstrate the problem and I hope that you will send me more details, facts, or anything that shows me how you are being affected by the CPSIA: How much has it cost you? How are you coping with those costs? Have you eliminated product lines because testing costs made them unprofitable? Your real-life stories are the best way to show the perverse effects of the law – that we are hurting our businesses without any real upgrade to our children’s safety. I also invite you to post the letter you sent me on my blog where your story can be seen by others.

Thank you again for your email. Please do not hesitate to send me more at in the future. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Anne Northup

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