Monday, March 23, 2009

My First Letter to the Editor about CPSIA

I sent this letter to the editor of our local newspaper on February 10. It was never printed:

With today being the next deadline for the wide-sweeping Consumer Product Safety "Improvement" Act (CPSIA), I am baffled at the lack of coverage. Where is the outrage over this act -- morally and economically? Why is Congress passing a stimulus act – at the same time it is doing so much to harm the economy – small businesses in particular?

I am a small business owner who is hoping to survive the economic onslaught already caused by this bill -- and this portion just went into effect! To put this in perspective: Our average monthly sales are approximately $5,000. This weekend we had to dispose of over $4,000 worth of inventory. In one weekend, it is gone. The sad thing is, we're not even sure we have removed everything. And if we haven't, we could still be in violation of the law....We're primarily a children's bookstore, with over 3,000 square feet, and in the end we were given one business day to find and remove all of the books that had just become illegal to sell.

Why? Because Congress and the CPSC have decided that it is all of a sudden dangerous for our children to read books that were printed before 1985…books that might have small amounts of lead in the ink in their pages. The adults of today grew up reading those same books with no ill effects, but somehow our children and grandchildren might suffer if some of their books were printed before 1985.

Catherine M. Jaime

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