I know this isn't the most exciting thing to read, but it's important. I wrote to my congressman regarding the legislation surrounding the homemade toys issue and he responded:
Thank you for your recent communication regarding HR 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). I appreciate the time you took to write.
As you may know, this bill resulted from the 2007 discovery that large toy manufacturers were importing and selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small parts, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that could cause children to become ill. Because the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US, new legislation was necessary to address this situation; the CPSIA was cosponsored by more than 100 members of the House of Representatives. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys, and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date of manufacture and batch number. On July 30, 2008, I voted with an overwhelming majority of my House colleagues to support this bill. The Senate approved this legislation on July 31, 2008, and President Bush signed it into law on August 14, 2008. The measure is codified as Public Law No 110-314.
Small toy manufacturers and others have expressed concern that the CPSIA will place an undue financial burden on small toy producers and those who resell toys and children's clothing. In response to these concerns, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which now has jurisdiction in this matter, is working to clarify particular language in the law, and to establish clearer rules for testing. Further, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will continue to oversee implementation of this legislation and, if additional legislative changes are necessary, I am confident the Committee will act in a timely manner to implement those modifications.
HR 4040 is important legislation which addresses a very serious and growing problem. The protections and enforcement authority of this measure will assure consumers that the toys and other products they buy for their children are safe.
Again, thank you for contacting me about this measure.
Sincerely,Jim McDermottMember of Congress