Thursday, January 29, 2009

This August, the U.S. Congress enacted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act 2008 (CPSIA), one of the most comprehensive transformations of consumer-product safety regulations since the 1970s. The Act expands the role of the Consumer Product Safety Commission in ensuring the safety of consumer products, especially those designed for children.

Little Bugs Boutique currently conforms to safety standards of California (Cal Prop 65). This law adopted in 2006, established limits for lead in metals and several other components. Significantly, in recognition of the limited risk of availability of lead from crystal, the settlement agreement standards as incorporated under California AB 1681 allows the continued use of crystal without limitation in jewelry not intended for children. However, the new CPSIA legislation overrides the Cal Prop 65 law in regards to children's jewelry (up to 1 gram of crystal allowed per piece) and goes into effect on February 10th, 2009.

We have developed a reasonable testing program to ensure that the children's products you purchase from us comply with the aspects of the law that pertain to our products. However, as of today, we have not been able to source any lead-free crystals. Although many suppliers offer what they claim to be "lead-free" crystals (such as Celestial Crystal), none have been able to provide us with any type of certification that these crystals are indeed "lead-free". Furthermore, we have been told that cat's eye beads (used in so many of our designs) may also contain lead. We are working diligently to identify and quantify the total lead content in these components, but until further notice will no longer be able to market or make any product that contains crystals and/or cat's eye beads for children under the age of 12.

We are in the process of removing the children's sizes option from our website and urge you to make whatever changes you must in your shop and/or website. The Bitty Block collection will continue as designed, as it was never designed, intended or marketed toward children. Our entire collection will continue to be available in adult sizes. Again, any of our products that contain crystal and/or cat's eye components can ONLY be sold for children ages 13 and over. Additionally, we are in the process of designing some new items that will be CPSIA compliant using sterling silver and natural gemstones.

Another requirement of the CPSIA is that General Certificates of Compliance (GCC) be created for all children's products. Therefore, we will be creating General Certificates of Conformity for our products when ordered for children under the age of 12 based on "reasonable testing" of component parts. It is our hope that the CPSC will amend the law to accept component testing in lieu of the required third-party testing come August 14, 2009.

We have been corresponding with other small handcrafted "manufacturers" of children's products, like us, and many of us small business owners have been on a campaign to lobby Congress refine this law, and it seems that the legislators are listening! Below is a link which will take you to a letter dated January 21, 2009 from two representatives urging a hearing be held to discuss the legislation.

You can refer to our Jewelry Safety page on our website to keep informed of updates in government legislation and how it relates to handcrafted jewelry.

Learn More about the CPSIA: