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As reported last week (see Government Bans Sale of Used Children’s Clothing and Toys !?!), the impending enforcement of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 starting on February 10, 2009, will change the landscape for children’s clothing and toy sales in the United States. New 600ppm limits on lead will be enforced immediately, and those limits will be lowered to 300ppm and next to 100ppm. Phthalates used to soften plastics must comprise less than 0.1% of the product content. Sellers must be able to show the items they are selling have passed safety tests for lead and phtalate content or they cannot sell the products. The new regulations pertain to products intended for use by children age 12 and under.
A major criticism of this law has been the negative impact on the resale of used children’s clothing and toys. Many consignment shops and charity organizations sell such items, and parents are able to get back some of the value of toys and clothes their children have outgrown. There have been widespread complaints that the new law has the potential to put such businesses out of business.