Saturday, December 6, 2008

Congressional Hearing Canceled

I have to admit, I have been holding out hope that on December 10th, the representatives involved in the congressional hearing for the CPSIA would suddenly open their eyes and realize the devastation that is about to erupt throughout our economy. But sadly, the hearing has been canceled.

So what is next? I really have no idea. It seems consumers are supporting this law in hopes of providing safe toys and clothing for their children. And I couldn't agree more. As a mother of a child with Autism, I'm the first to get in line for all natural toys, clothing, food, etc. But, the law as written is overlooking the fact that many of these items do not need to be tested. Fabrics for example are inherently lead free. Yet, thousands of clothing companies are preparing to shut their doors because the cost to test their designs and prove they are lead free is simply too expensive.

Several European toy companies have already announced that they will stop production as of December 31, 2008 on all toys that typically sell in the U.S. Others have announced that the cost of their toys will increase between 30-50%. Clothing companies who can afford to test will now be offering fewer styles, colors and sizes. Gone will be beautifully embellished dresses or tshirts with appliques that use a variety of fabrics, trims and crystals. Did I mention that "bling" will be non-existent for little girls. Swarovski crystals are lead based. Need I saw more. Will we survive without "bling"? Absolutely. But the children's runways in New York will have a new look and feel. Basic, simple, few options. Period.

The bigger question is did congress just open Pandora's box. Where do we stop? What about the furniture our children sit on everyday, or the plates they eat off of, the floors they walk on and the beds they sleep in. Where do we draw the line?

I want a safer environment for my children. But I also want them to have choices. Most of all I want our economy to repair itself and thrive once again. This law is kind of like kicking a horse while it is down. I'm not sure how we are going to get back up after February 9th.