Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Last updated: 12:54 am
January 28, 2009
Posted: 12:52 am
January 28, 2009
IF Congress doesn't act quickly, tens of thousands of Americans will lose their jobs - and several hundred New York businesses will get hit particularly hard.
The problem is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which Congress passed overwhelmingly last year because of fears about lead in toys from China. Bizarrely, the law threatens US-based children's clothing makers as well as toy makers - and even libraries. Its staggering, unintended consequences have prompted outrage from everyone from "mommy-bloggers" to some environmentalists.
In the name of safety, the law imposes absurd standards and insane testing requirements. These aren't based on science, but on political hysteria - and they're a major burden on business. In this recession, they could close down countless companies whose products are perfectly safe.
One example: The law not only requires testing of components of children's clothing for tiny levels of lead, but also separate testing of each different style of clothes, even if made from the same materials.
What's worse, the Consumer Product Safety Commission interprets the law to apply to kid's clothing retroactively. So products already en route to stores - even if they contain no lead - will be illegal to sell after Feb. 10 if they haven't been tested.
Wal-Mart is telling its suppliers that everything it has in stock that hasn't already been tested must be out of stores by Feb. 1 - even if that means sending the stuff back to suppliers.
This is creating chaos for everyone involved in making and selling children's items. Unless Congress acts now, tens of millions of dollars worth of safe children's clothing will be destroyed - and that's from New York City clothing makers alone.
Dozens of small, family-owned New York businesses, already struggling, will shut down and/or lay off their workers. The city could lose a quarter to a half of its 8,000 garment-industry jobs within weeks. Cory Silverstein of Kids Headquarters on 34th Street fears he may have to lay off close to 100 of his 600 employees in the city.
Meanwhile, the test requirements will make children's clothing more expensive.
Opponents of this "safety" law include not just businesses but activists like Chicago writer and environmentalist Manda Aufochs Gillespie, a.k.a. "the Green Mama." She writes that it "has made things much harder than they need to be": Even products that already meet much-stricter organic-certification requirements, as well as European Union standards, are not exempt from the "safety" testing requirements.
Companies like Chapter One Organics are also angry - because big business can absorb the costs and pass them along to consumers, while smaller companies will be forced out of business.
The law's onerous testing requirements may even apply to children's books. If so, until every single children's book is certified safe, libraries would be off-limits to children. So the American Library Association is lobbying for a quick fix to exempt libraries from the law.
But the law is so fundamentally flawed that it can't just be tweaked - it must be repealed. Then, Congress can consider a more science-based approach to safety that protects children without destroying whole industries.
The immediate need, however, is for Congress to simply delay the law from taking effect. If it doesn't act now, thousands of small businesses will close and consumers will pay more for everything they buy their kids.
Jeff Stier is an associate director of the American Council on Science and Health."
Gasworks - Capital Hill - Beacon Hill - Mt Baker
Mile Instruction For
1 0.0 R Depart Gasworks Park going east on the Burke-Gilman Trail. 1.1 mi
1.1 L 7th Avenue, then immediate right on 40th Street. 0.3 mi
2 1.4 R Eastlake Avenue E (across University Bridge). 0.3 mi
3 1.7 BL Harvard Avenue E (underneath I-5). 0.2 mi
1.9 L E Shelby Street. 0.1 mi
4 2.0 R Broadway E. 0.3 mi
2.3 L E Roanoke Street. 0.1 mi
5 2.4 R 10th Avenue E. 0.1 mi
2.5 L E Miller Street. 0.1 mi
6 2.6 R Federal Avenue E. 0.9 mi
3.5 L E Prospect Street (at end of Volunteer Park). 0.1 mi
7 3.6 R 12th Avenue E. 2.4 mi
8 6.0 BL Cross over I-90 and continue on Golf Drive S. 0.1 mi
6.1 Continues as 15th Avenue S. 0.9 mi
9 7.0 BL Beacon Avenue S. 1.4 mi
10 8.4 L Cheasty Blvd S (at end of golf course). 1.2 mi
9.6 BR Continue as S Winthrop Street (just before Martin Luther King). 0.1 mi
11 9.7 Take overpass across Rainier Avenue. 0.1 mi
12 9.8 Exit overpass and turn right on S Mt. Baker Blvd. 0.5 mi
13 10.3 BR Continue on Lake Park Drive S (at Mt. Baker Park). 0.3 mi
10.6 L At bottom of hill onto Lake Washington Blvd S. 0.2 mi
14 10.8 BL At Coleman Park, go back up hill again. 1.2 mi
Continue on Lake Washington Blvd S over the top of I-90.
15 12.0 Enter Frink Park and start down again on Lake Wash Blvd. 0.5 mi
16 12.5 L At bottom (Leschi) continue north on Lake Washington Blvd. 1.5 mi
At stop sign (Lakeview Park) take S-curves back up hill.
17 14.0 L E Harrison Street. 0.6 mi
18 14.6 R Martin Luther King Way E and cross E Madison Street. 0.1 mi
14.7 Continue straight on 28th Avenue E (E Prospect Street). 0.5 mi
19 15.2 Continues as 26th Avenue E. 0.8 mi
20 16.0 L E Lynn Street and immediate right on 25th Avenue E. 0.2 mi
21 16.2 L E Roanoke Street. 0.1 mi
16.3 Follow bike signs to University of Washington through alleys, 0.2 mi
across Lake Washington Blvd to 24th Avenue E over SR-520.
16.5 L Exit museum parking, continue straight, turn on E Shelby Street. 0.1 mi
16.6 R Montlake Blvd NE, cross the Montlake Bridge to UW. 0.4 mi
22 17.0 L Cross Montlake Blvd and turn left onto Burke-Gilman Trail. 2.0 mi
23 19.0 L Return to Gasworks Park.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Request for Comments and Information*
Mandatory Third-Party Testing for Certain Children’s Products
Section 102 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
The Commission staff invites comments on Section 102 of the CPSIA, Mandatory Third-
Party Testing for Certain Children’s Products. The staff requests comments specifically on
third-party testing of component parts.
CPSIA section 102(a)(2) imposes testing requirements to support certificates of compliance
for “children's products'' as defined in section 235(a) of the CPSIA (to be codified at section
3(a)(2) of the Consumer Product Safety Act). Ninety days after the Commission issues those
requirements for a given product or category of products on the rolling schedule specified in
section 14(a)(3), the certificate for the product or products in question manufactured after that
date must be supported by testing performed by a third-party laboratory whose accreditation
has been accepted by the Commission absent the Commission's exercise of its authority to
extend such a deadline by an additional sixty days in certain instances. Given the schedule
for implementation of the third-party testing requirements, the staff is interested in comments
and information regarding:
• How the risk of introducing non-compliant product into the marketplace would be
affected by permitting third-party testing of the component parts of a consumer
product versus third-party testing of the finished consumer product.
• The conditions and or circumstances, if any, that should be considered in allowing
third-party testing of component parts.
• The conditions, if any, under which supplier third-party testing of raw materials or
components should be acceptable.
• Assuming all component parts are compliant, what manufacturing processes
and/or environmental conditions might introduce factors that would increase the
risk of allowing non-compliant consumer products into the marketplace.
• Whether and how the use and control of subcontractors would be affected by
allowing the third-party testing of component parts.
• What changes in inventory control methods, if any, should be required if thirdparty
testing of component parts were permitted. Address receipt, storage and
quality control of incoming materials, management and control of work-inprocess,
non-conforming material control, control of rework, inventory rotation,
and overall identification and control of materials.
• How a manufacturer would manage lot-to-lot variation of component parts, in a
third-party testing of component parts regime, to ensure finished consumer
products are compliant.
• Whether consideration of third-party testing of component parts should be given
for any particular industry groups or particular component parts and materials.
Explain what it is about these industries, component parts, and/or materials that
make them uniquely suited to this approach.
Comments must be received by the Office of the Secretary no later than January 30, 2009.
Comments may be filed by email to Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov. Comments
may also be filed by facsimile to (301) 504-0127 or by mail or delivery to the Office of the
Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 502, 4330 East-West Highway,
Bethesda, Maryland, 20814. Comments should be captioned “Section 102 Mandatory Third-
Party Testing of Component Parts.” Interested persons will also have additional opportunities
to comment following publication of any notices of rulemaking proceedings in the Federal
Register which are commenced under this section.