You may recall in 2007 when a vast amount of toys were found to have traces of lead in the paint. I remember: I had to get rid of a few of our toys for this reason, and then I was concerned for quite some time about what other toys might be affected that I didn’t know about.
We began purchasing non-plastic toys at this point. Instead we bought wooden toys and I even splurged on some lead paint testing kits for items around our home (none came back as containing lead, I was glad to see!)
This outbreak, for lack of a better word, caused such an uproar that Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which mandated that testing be done on products that were developed for young children, beginning on February 10th.
Sounds great, right? I can tell you, I have no issues with businesses checking toys to find out what might be tainted. My kids love to put toys in their mouths still, and they are 4 1/2 and 2! That’s what kids do: They explore through their senses, and quite often their tongues!
This article shows that not everyone is happy about this testing. In fact, small business owners who cater to young children through the manufacturing of smaller batches of toys and clothes are going to feel a huge hit in their pocketbooks when the law takes effect. According to the article, testing is expensive, and those companies that make smaller batches of products will not make enough money to cover the testing, much less turn a profit.
So what is the right thing to do here?
Do we put hundreds or thousands of small business owners out of business because they can’t afford to test the items they are making and then selling to young children, who may put these products in their mouths, or do we allow small businesses to create these products and then buy them for our children, not sure if they contain lead and, if they do, possibly damaging our children’s health by purchasing the items?
One small business owner in the article believes that those who produce small batches of toys should be exempt from the testing because those toys will not be as far reached as someone making millions of something.
Still, if those thousands of toys are not tested and do indeed contain lead, they could harm children-and do you say that this is okay because it is only a thousand children and not a million?
As a small business owner I can certainly appreciate their concern, but as a mother of two young children I can tell you that if some companies are exempt from this law because of their size, but other companies must test, I will be purchasing items from those who have to test.
Perhaps the better option would be to find a way to relieve the small business owners of some of the cost of testing. Small businesses pay a smaller fee because they have fewer products, while large companies pay more because of their vast quantities of products. Makes sense, right?