Posts Tagged ‘CPSIA’

CPSIA: Russian nesting dolls, paper clips, science kits

The website of the Golden Cockerel import firm includes a rather elaborate warning as to why its matryoshka are not meant for the under-12 set, at least not since the enactment of the calamitous Jan-Schakowskybacked law:

the law requires each batch of toys be tested by a 3rd party laboratory to be sure they are “toy safe.” Such tests can cost well over $1000 per nesting doll set! And sometimes, as with our museum quality one-of-a-kind dolls, a “batch” consists entirely of one doll, or only a few, making it totally unfeasible to test.

CPSIA: reserving treasured toys for strictly adult use since 2008.

More: The CPSC has just sided with purported consumer groups and against pleas from the business community in adopting a broad definition of what constitute “children’s products” under the disastrous Barbara-Boxerbacked law: for example, ordinary paper clips must go through costly separate CPSIA testing when meant for kids’ use as part of a science kit with magnets and similar items [NY Times, AP/WaPo (“Kids’ science kits may take hit from safety ruling”), Commissioners Anne Northup and Nancy Nord]

An ombudsman? For CPSIA?

Rick Woldenberg reacts to a peculiarly inutile suggestion, in a Baltimore Sun interview, from CPSC chair Inez Tenenbaum (“We think if we had a small-business ombudsman who was out there regularly educating small businesses, we could help them prevent problems in terms of compliance.”):

…The necessary implication is that we small businesses are just too stupid to understand their complicated rules – I guess she thinks only Mattel can read the English language. Of course, the pending testing frequency rule (which I believe will be implemented in the coming weeks, get ready for it) will cause our company to spend $15 million per annum on testing. This sum far exceeds our profits. Perhaps the ombudsman will help us terminate our people to pay for testing, or provide a shoulder to cry on.

August 30 roundup

August 13 roundup

  • Lawyer sued for sexual harassment countersues, wins $1.55 million in damages [The Recorder]
  • Court rejects another challenge to tobacco multistate settlement agreement [Sullum, Reason]
  • European human rights claim: “Fury as German doctor seeks injunction against victim’s sons” [Daily Mail]
  • New CPSC rulemakings on CPSIA testing frequency and component testing could sink many small businesses [Woldenberg]
  • Connecticut AG Blumenthal picks fight with life insurers [Hartford Courant, with comments]
  • Undies moral: “Excess litigiousness is part of the whole shebang of dangerizing everything.” [Skenazy, Free-Range Kids]
  • “False-Marking Suits Head for a Showdown” [Robbins, Texas Lawyer]
  • “I think my years in the [adult film] industry will make me a great lawyer.” [Above the Law]

“Students Aren’t Allowed To Touch Real Rocks”

Lenore Skenazy at Forbes: “How the Consumer Product Safety Commission drives parents — and everyone else — crazy.” Besides the CPSIA rock-poster story of the headline (earlier), the CPSC has scared parents about not-very-terrifying Graco high chairs and Little Tykes workbenches, to say nothing of those McDonald’s Shrek glasses with traces of cadmium.

Related: the Federalist Society presents a podcast on CPSIA with CPSC commissioners Nancy Nord and Robert Adler; rules for making kids’ products recall the IRS code in complexity; the new public database of alleged product-related injuries, a la NHTSA’s, draws critical attention from manufacturers and CPSC commissioner Anne Northup; and the commission tackles the dangers of clacker balls.

An Oregon crafter on CPSIA

You might be bitter too:

I called the lab, got the quote and did the math. CPSIA-mandated testing costs for my little product line was over $27,000 for just over $30,000 worth of product. I cannot express the horrible feeling I had when I realized that I had made a mistake that was going to cost my family all of our money. …

I blame every one of the Energy and Commerce legislative staffers.

— Jolie Fay, crafter,, guest post,


PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE from Ethel Everett, illustrator, Nursery Rhymes (1900), courtesy

Capsized by CPSIA

Dallas entrepreneur Phebe Phillips tells in this speech (PDF) why she had to get out of her successful plush animal business:

Then in 2008 and 2009 the U.S. economy tanked … retail dwindled and a new toy regulation was enacted in response to the poor quality and mass quantity oversights by some really big toy companies. BadMrsGinger4bThis new law raises the testing price for each product and in some cases, doubles or triples the costs. For some small companies, it can cost one year of total revenue just to meet the requirements of this law. The law is for any product marketed to a child age twelve and under and for any product made anywhere…even here. It has frozen many small and midsize companies leaving the companies that caused the problems in the first place as some of the only companies that can afford to stay in business. Financially, it caused me to temporarily halt my business…I changed!

Via Amend the CPSIA, which had this report on Phillips in December; earlier on CPSIA and stuffed animals here and here.

Consumer Product Safety Commission member Anne Northup has also been blogging about some of the law’s ongoing damaging effects on sellers of dolls, kids’ furniture and apparel imports.

PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE from Honor C. Appleton, The Bad Mrs. Ginger (Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1902), courtesy

Drop-side crib ban: a regulatory taking?

Reader Chaim Gordon, a Georgetown 2L and former clerk with the Institute for Justice, cc’d us on an excerpted email to call our attention to

… a potential rule by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or legislation by congress (S. 3400, H.R. 5386), see, e.g. (PDF), banning “the sale, manufacture, distribution, and use in public facilities of drop-side cribs.” As a parent, I feel violated (not really, because I own two such cribs already), and as a multiple-drop-side-crib-owner, I feel robbed.

I have been following this story for over a year now, and it seems to me that this rule/legislation is likely to implemented (I think that a rule is more likely than a bill). Originally, I thought that this ban was an effort by the crib manufacturers to reduce potential liability without losing market share by way of voluntary action. I now think that something more sinister is at work here. I now think that the manufacturers want to increase demand for their product by taking a large portion of the used-crib market/family-gift competition out of the picture. (Drop-side cribs used to comprise around 50% of the new crib market, and now, because of CPSC warnings and voluntary measures, that percentage has dropped to around 20%.) This of course comes at the expense of the innocent parents who may have been counting on selling their used cribs or giving their used cribs to family members (and at the expense of parents who will have to pay more for a used/new crib). Personally, I have never heard of a regulation that limited the rights of consumers to resell (or give away) their legitimately purchased, but now considered deficient, product (consider used cars without airbags).

Read On…