Monday, January 19, 2009

Ban on Resale Children's Products Update

Anyone who read this post two weeks or so ago will know the panic I felt about how the ban on lead in children's products - a good thing in and of itself - was translated into secondhand, resale, and thrift stores being obliged to toss anything that might contain lead and be for children under 13 or risk prosecution... under the new law for the ban on lead in children's products.

Well, it doesn't look as bad as it did at first; here is information specifically about how this law will treat resale and thrift stores.

The clarification states: "The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold." So far, so good, right?

But then: "However, resellers cannot sell children’s 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 to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties."

I guess this will stop most of the clothing intended for children from hitting the nearest landfill. But what is 'likely to have lead content'? Books or toys that talk or play music? Video consoles or handheld games? CDs, DVDs, vidoetapes?

And, if I'm a resale or thrift store owner who could face the 'civil and/or criminal penalties' if something I'm selling turns out to have lead in it, how likely am I - really - to put it on the shelf?

I wouldn't take the chance, if it was my butt on the line - I'd put anything suspicious in the trash.

I wonder how many actual thrift-store owners will?

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