July 27, 2009

The Insanity Sparkles

Justin Katz

So, the economy is struggling, right? Well, what better time to beginning banning products that are acknowledged to be safe and for which there's an active market?

... all items for children ages 12 and under — from sneakers and sunglasses to dance costumes and denim jackets — won't be shimmering as much now that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has refused to exempt crystals and rhinestones from the latest federal consumer safety law. ...

In written statements accompanying their July 16 decision, commissioners acknowledged that even though crystal and rhinestones exceed allowed lead limits they actually pose little health threat because the lead is bound to them on a molecular level and would be difficult to leach free even if swallowed.

But they said they could not grant an exemption because they are bound by the very specific language of the new product safety law.

"Because the statute does not give us the ability to be flexible, I cannot vote to grant exclusion in this case," wrote Commissioner Nancy Nord, adding that she is aware that "there will be significant and severe economic injury to those who make and sell these products."

On the other hand, perhaps we can salvage a useful metaphor from the foolishness. Instituting a "progressive" government is a bit like swallowing rhinestones: The sparkle is alluring, although useless once it's swallowed, and the ingestion appears harmless... until it constitutes a majority of one's diet, at which point it can be extremely painful or even fatal.


The obvious commenter quip, here, would involve a comparison of the above with my support for making prostitution illegal in Rhode Island. Allow me to respond, in advance, that such comments would miss my point on prostitution and that I'll be elaborating when I've got a moment, later.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

The scope of the act in question, the CPSIA, is amazingly broad and screws up lots of people. Home based craft businesses (i.e., painted wooden toys), thrift shops (which do'nt know whether their products have been tested), charity garage sales (ditto), used book stores (lead levels prior to 1985 do'nt pass, so children's books can't be sold unless you try to call them "collectibles"), childrens bikes (but not adult's) are all subject to ridiculous and onerous restrictions or testing requirements based on the CPSIA law, which was passed because of Chinese made product issues.

Posted by: davidc at July 27, 2009 8:41 PM

Ditto DavidC. This group of laws has been remarkably and pointlessly overreaching and destructive.

Posted by: Monique at July 27, 2009 9:04 PM

Which group of laws? The ones "protecting" consumers, or pretty much everything the government has done since the last election?

Posted by: Justin Katz at July 27, 2009 9:07 PM

Can't blame CPSIA wholly on the current administration. Bush signed it last summer. The crafter community was freaking out about the possible effects (about which the government has done little to calm things) last December.

Posted by: Davidc at July 27, 2009 10:48 PM

Yup. No more "bling" in our store for children. Just wait until Feb. when possibly we won't have ANY products to sell if this CPSIA law isn't amended. All small manufacturers and crafters WILL go out of business if this insanity isn't fixed.

I cannot believe how insane this country is becoming every day.

Posted by: Marianne at July 29, 2009 1:01 PM
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