Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Announcement about CPSIA and Garden Gnomes

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is a great big law that puts a world of restrictions on children's toys. These restrictions are on materials, decorations, all the components that make up a thing, to reduce the exposure children have to dangerous substances like lead and phthalates. The legislation requires exhaustive and expensive testing of children’s products and specific labeling rules. What it really boils down to is that a plethora of small businesses will go out of business. The law was not designed with the handcrafter in mind. But, that's not why I'm here.

I'm here today to tell you that there is a reason why I say on every listing that my Gnomes are not intended for children under 12 years old. My items are not made for children. This should be obvious in Spirit Dolls and japa mala, but Garden Gnomes are cute, and they're the right size for little hands. Even so, they are not made for children.

My Gnomes are made for the adult collector. They are made sturdy, but I cannot promise they would hold up to rigorous play. They are meant as decorations, not toys. I have never crocheted something intended for children, and I still don't.

I am using materials that are currently exempt from CPSIA testing. If a Gnome gets in the hands of a child, you can be assured that the dangerous materials that CPSIA is trying to guard against are not a part of my Gnomes. However, they do contain small parts, as in the polybeads I use for weight. This product is intended to be used for decorative items only (as stated on the bag by the manufacturer), and that is what I use them for.

Garden Gnomes may be cute and fun, but they are not toys, and were never intended to be toys. My Gnomes are not tested for lead and phthalates, are not labeled as toys, and do contain small parts not suitable for children. Please treat your Gnomes as decorative soft sculpture items. This is how I intend them, this is what I am thinking when I make them. Please keep this in mind when ordering.

Thank you.

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