|Thrift, resell stores confused about new federal law regarding children’s items|
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Becky Berry, manager of the Imperial Community Center and its thrift shop, wants some answers regarding a federal law that took effect Feb. 10. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) says that products intended for children under the age of 12 cannot be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million total lead.
The law applies to a wide range of products, such as cribs and strollers, toys, books, clothing, play pens and much more.
Domestic manufacturers and importers must certify that new children’s products meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban.
CPSIA seems to put the same restrictions on those resell businesses, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army and Imperial Community Center, as well as items put on garage sales, eBay and more.
Goodwill Industries International has instituted a policy to clear from all shelves virtually every children’s product.
In Imperial, Berry said she would like to see a list of banned products, or a list of “safe” dates, after which children’s products are accepted.
She already doesn’t accept out-of-date car seats. The thrift shop doesn’t stock furniture, so cribs and play pens are not in question.
Berry said the store “only stocks newer, more modern types of clothing.”
“To be compliant you have to have things made by a certain date, and you don’t have dates in clothing,” she observed.
Most resellers don’t have the means to test for lead in products, nor could they afford such a means. Therefore, most stores are clearing their shelves of children’s products rather than risk being in non-compliance with CPSIA.
Non-compliance, according to CPSIA, could mean that those resellers who sell products in violation of the new law could face civil and/or criminal penalties.
Because of provisions in CPSIA, even children’s books have to be carefully considered before being stocked. Berry said her store does handle quite a few of the Golden Books series, as people want to add to their collections.
She isn’t sure yet what the thrift shop will do about its children’s stock, which was in the process this week of being changed over from winter to summer.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska will be parking its donation trailer in the parking lot of First United Methodist Church next week. The trailer will be available for drop-offs March 16-22.
Donations of clothing and household items that are in good condition and saleable can be placed inside the trailer. Because of limited storage, no furniture or large appliances are accepted.
Tax donation slips will be available at the trailer.