CPSIA and Charity Crafting..STOP PANICKING!

The new consumer safety law that comes out on Feb 10  was in my radar range.. and certainly I signed the petition at Change.org.. but it wasn’t until I heard this and worse (from one of my online knitting circles) that I really got irked..

“No more making hats for newborns (or kids under the age of 13) without having the yarn certified as being less than 600 ppm for lead or phthalates.
New law takes effect on February 10th – Google CPSIA for more information. It’s got lots of bad ramifications.”


“You might want to let that group know that as of February 10th, their hats will be considered illegal, and will be thrown into the trash. New hats will have to be made from yarn that has undergone testing and is certified to be less than 600ppm in phthalates and lead – but you’ll have to send the label from the yarn along with the hat – and even then, I’m not sure that will be enough documentation to authorize the gifting of the hats.”

Yes.. people that have been charitable in the past no longer feel welcome to make items for newborns, and children in need! That SUCKS!!!

It used to be that I would need someone to stand behind me with a cattle prod to order cold cuts at the deli counter.. thankfully that’s changed..(thanks Brian!) So now when some thing irks me like this, I don’t shrink into the woodwork, I go looking for answers..

So I did..

I went to the two biggest places I could find. Warm Up America, and The Linus Project and asked just how this law was going to effect them.

Mary Balagna, the national VP of Linus Project replied:

Dear Denise,

We have been in contact with our state representative who has spoken to the CPSA on our behalf.  The CPSA has assured us that Project Linus will not be affected by this legislation.  We hope that you will continue to donate blankets to Project Linus.

Thank you,


Project Linus National VP

They have been actively in touch with their local representative and have had hopeful signs with yesterday’s ‘clarification’ of this law concerning resale shops.

While they are waiting official, or more specific word from the CPSC about them, they feel that this law applies to items that are being SOLD, not items that are gifted, which is what you are doing when you give a hat, or a scarf or a blanket  that you have made to charitable organizations such as these. SO as long as you still stay within the guidelines of the organization you are donating items to you should be fine.

I urge you to stop panicking,  and turn your energy to contacting the people below and making them VERY aware that this is a potential problem for charity crafters!

The CPSC is most likely totally unaware that the changes they are making are effecting this particular group.

They have put out a call for comments on their website.. so GO COMMENT!

Some things you can do:

  1. Write to your Congressional and Senate representative. Tell them how  this law is effecting you!
  2. Go to the source. The CPSC has opened up for comments.. they probably don’t even know that these changes are effecting this particular group of people so GO COMMENT if you feel this law will effect your future charitable efforts!

I, who used to have to be prodded to go up to the deli counter, wrote two senators and a congressman yesterday.. and hey.. I will probably write to them AND my local state senate rep today!

I know that this effects more than just charity crafters.. we will continue this conversation tomorrow!

9 thoughts on “CPSIA and Charity Crafting..STOP PANICKING!

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I had the epiphany late last night that if that law was passed as is, then my preemie hats and booties would no longer be acceptable for the charity groups. I was fuming as it was that the government is hurting those that make toys and children’s clothing to help keep food on their own tables (I mean…why are THEY being punished? They are using materials that are already manufactured by a major company. They most likely bought the yarn or material to make the items and didn’t actually make the yarn or material themselves, yet they are going to be pinned with an outrageous price to test their products? Makes no sense!) Then I find out that it is going to affect Good Will and thrift shops….I’m poor. I’ll admit it….I can’t buy my children BRAND NEW CLOTHES! Then it dawned on me….preemie hats and booties that I make, even though I didn’t create the yarn, only the stitches, wouldn’t be able to be donated b/c I can’t afford to test them…..ooooo, my blood pressure went up! I am following your links right now! I may not be brave enough to go up to the deli counter, but I am brave enough to stand up for CRAFTERS!!!!

  2. I’d argue we should panic MORE. Charity sewing is one *tiny* aspect of this law. Okay, so let’s say charities get their exemptions. I will not be happier (!). In such case, better get cracking because if this law goes through, there will be more need for goods than ever. Prices in stores may double, who can afford that?

    Yesterday’s PR regarding resale shops amounted to (as someone said) the law reiterated to read “telling your child they don’t need to brush teeth, but spanking them if they have bad breath!” Resale stores will sell children’s items at their own risk, namely $100,000 fines and five years in prison if they “guess” wrong. I don’t imagine many resale shop owners are chemists or environmental engineers.

    Every single tax payer will be impacted if you consider the law’s effect on schools. Say, can you guys make ooak telescopes and microscopes, books, school supplies and educational materials? The people who sell those can’t afford to sell them anymore because testing on this stuff runs -in some cases- up to $24,000 (yes, twenty four THOUSAND dollars) and there’s not much point selling them if your gross sales are only $32,000 from which the cost of goods hasn’t even been subtracted. There’s a great video on youtube that explains more of the impact on everyone, whether they sew for charities or even have kids at all.


    Btw, thanks for publicizing this! I also suggest visiting the War Room for up to the minute updates and focused activism http://bit.ly/3SFN. There’s also the automated mailer to email legislators in one fell swoop. http://tinyurl.com/5hloos. Lastly, we are asking people to fill out the Economic Impact Survey http://bit.ly/Cdwv.

  3. I just went to the CPSC site. They have posted (for immediate release) a statement dated January 8, 2009.
    The information in that statement leads you to believe that the law is directed at resellers only. You can read it here.
    If this is directed at resellers only, then it shouldn’t affect those of us who stitch for charity.

  4. wow. I am freaking out. I cant find any information on the bill/ law but i did email my senator and representative. And I’m 14. 😛 Thanks for the tip on doing so.

  5. I am a Project Linus blanketeer and my chapter coordinator sent out an email on January 25 to contact our respective senators and congressional reps and gave us links to do so regarding this bill/law. It was also suggested to contact as many as possible who are on the energy and commerce committee and the CPSC. I also commend Kate for being 14, not even old enough to vote, and still speaking up. We all need to speak up.

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