Barring a reprieve, regulations set to take effect next month could force thousands of clothing retailers and thrift stores to throw away trunkloads of children's clothing.
The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger -- including clothing -- be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven't been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.
"They'll all have to go to the landfill," said Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Assn. of Resale and Thrift Shops.
The new regulations take effect Feb. 10 under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed by Congress last year in response to widespread recalls of products that posed a threat to children, including toys made with lead or lead-based paint.
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As a mom of 5, soon to be 6, this is a major concern. The market segment that these resale/consignment shops serve is quite large and given our tough economic times, I cannot imagine what will happen. There are many (myself included) who depend on these stores to clothe their children at a price that they can afford without having to take food out of their mouth. But we are not powerless, here is how you can help:
Call Nancy Nord she is the acting head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and she needs to hear from you. To reach her call 301-504-7923 or 301-504-7901 and ask for her. If she is busy leave a brief, polite, but firm message.
Call the CPSC ombudsman's office
The number is 888-531-9070
You can also contact your reps here