Kids clothing 1/9

Once Upon a Child trades exclusively in used children’s clothes and toys. Owner Renee Reich was worried a new federal child safety law would put her out of business. But after a clarification was issued Thursday afternoon, it appears secondhand retailers will survive.

Thursday’s good news couldn’t have been more timely.

For the past week, news agencies across the nation have been reporting on the dire consequences to thrift stores of a new federal children’s safety law.

Passed in August 2008 and effective on Feb. 10, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act bans the sale of children’s toys and clothes that contain more than 600 parts per million of lead. In August, the threshold drops to 300 ppm with violators incurring heavy fines.

Because most consignment stores and thrift shops could not afford to test materials themselves, the law seemed a death knell.

Contacted by phone on Thursday morning, MRCI Thrift Shop manager Laura Butzer had only recently heard about the law but had already contacted a few local legislators. She said without the ability to resell children’s items, her store would risk losing upward of $100,000 in sales.

A short time later, Once Upon a Child owner Renee Reich conveyed the same concern: “If it does turn out to be unlawful (to resell children’s items), then we can’t open our doors Feb. 10.”

But late Thursday afternoon, everything changed when the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that those who sold used children’s materials would be effectively excluded from the law. According to the clarification on the CPSC Web site: “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 ... 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.”

When Butzer was told of the news, she sighed audibly, saying, “That’s great. That’s totally relieving news. Looking ahead, that’s just a battle I didn’t want to fight.”

By Thursday evening, Reich had also heard the news and said she was thankful business would continue as usual. She said most secondhand retailers go to great lengths to ensure product safety, stay up-to-date on all toy recalls — the CPSC Web site has a full list — and provide a service to the community.

“Especially in this economy,” Reich said. “This is one place where parents know they can buy trusted products.”

React to this story:

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

Recommended for you