There has been a lot of news and controversy lately regarding The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, (CPSIA), signed into law in August 2008 which addresses the problem of recalls and excessive lead levels in items for children. According to the law, one reason CPSIA was written was to “protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products.”
The law takes place in several phases. First, it limits items with lead content to 600 parts per million, ppm, by weight in any part of a children’s product. In August, the amount of lead content will drop to 300 ppm and in August 2011, the content will be reduced to 100 ppm. Items with levels exceeding the amounts listed above, can not be legally sold in the United States.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission release, “sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.” The release goes on to say that resellers are not required to test said products in their inventories prior to sale. However, resellers can not sell products that “exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information indicating the products being sold have less than the new limit.”
Lately, many blogs and news publications have posed the question of whether this will have a direct impact on tag sales and the answer is yes. Although the government likely won’t be shopping at your garage sale, it is each individual’s responsibility to do their part and comply. The law is designed to have a greater impact on consignment shops, e-commerce and auction sites like eBay, thrift stores and good will type stores to limit the danger certain products pose to the public.
Many, including myself would argue otherwise when it comes to attempting to crack down on garage sales. These types of individually organized residential sales should remain unregulated. It’s still a free country right? It should be the consumers’ responsibility to decide whether they should purchase a product based on any dangers it may carry. If you really want to get rid of it, just have a “free” bin at your sale, it’s just as good as if the item was picked up at the curb waiting for trash day.
For more information, please see the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008