CPSIA – What it means for Small Businesses?

This is something that has always bothered me.  I know they mean well and they have good intentions at heart (I hope)…but come on!  In February they are going to required third party testing on all FINISHED products.  This is really bad for small businesses.  Natural materials are exempt from this.  Snaps and treated fabrics are not.  This makes me really sad for cloth diapers.  I know of many WAHMs that are going to close up shop.  The requirements are out of reach for most small businesses.

And what really gets me is that the companies that brought this testing about are exempt.  AND…it gets even better.  A lot of these companies that are exempt, are the ones than own and operate the third party testing facilities.  Why does that seem so wrong to me.  What is the world coming to…really.  We are putting our trust in the same companies that have had to do mass recalls.

I really wish that for small businesses that it could be buyer beware.  Or that the testing done by the supplier was enough.  I know that all the materials that I buy for cloth diapers are tested and pass.  I just don’t understand why that isn’t good enough.  Is something magically going to pop into the fabric as soon as I sew it together and add snaps?  I mean think logically here.  To me it just seems like a way to kill small businesses and more jobs in the US.  I think we are hurting enough here.

Then to top it all off there are label requirements.  There is company information that is required.  Ok…fine.  That isn’t an issue at all and is a good idea anyway.  Then washing and care instructions.  Again…fine.  A tracking number.  If it is a big company…fine.  They have the money for that.  But for a small business.  Their batches tend to consist of one diaper.  And so they must have a unique number on each diaper (or product) and keep track of all the materials that belong to each number.  NOT OK AT ALL…IMO!  It just means they are going to close up shop.

I really don’t like that.  It will make it so much harder for new ideas to come about.  People are not going to have the start-up money to do all of this.  I think it will slow progress.  Some of the greatest ideas come from the lowly WAHM (sarcasm here…heavy sarcasm)!  And for them to be stopped before they start is sad.  I have come to love WAHM products more than the mass produced items.  And I really don’t want to see them go away.

So if you don’t want to see small businesses have to close up shop, do something.  Write your congressman.  Write anyone you can think of.  Shoot, write to the president.  But don’t just let it go.  Tell me what you are going to do to help see things done correctly!


  1. Jill Chuckas says:

    Thanks for writing about this! I encourage folks to read more at http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org for ways your readers can help!
    Jill Chuckas
    HTA Board Member

  2. Tony at LaunchPad Radio says:

    I second Jill's comment.

    Also, if you need a quick primer on the CPSIA, the politics, and the impact on small business, we did a show about it on LaunchPad. You can listen while you work (always free!):


  3. Mama Momo says:

    Jill – That is a great site for information! I am going to do a follow up post as soon as more is said about the possible stay until September. I really hope they do. And I really help it gives them time to really think about what they are doing to small businesses!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I understand this has been "stayed" until fall. My understanding is that it'll be September or October now, at the earliest, before it takes effect. There's still time to save the WAHM!!