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Thrift shops exempted from lead rules.


Nonprofit thrift stores dodged a bullet as a change to new consumer testing requirements clarified a law that threatened to paralyze children's clothing sales by February and would have bit consumers relying on thrift stores for child clothing and toys in the tough economy.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) will require all children's products sold on or after Feb. 10 to be tested to make sure the items had less than 600 parts per million total lead content and less than 0.1 percent specific phthalates, an element that effects plasticity. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) clarified that under the new safety law, "sellers of used children's products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standard."

The bill, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush on Aug. 14, did not make a distinction between domestic manufacturers and resellers, such as nonprofit thrift stores.

Before the clarification, nonprofits like Rockville, Md.-based Goodwill Industries International and The Salvation Army, based in Alexandria, Va., were waiting to see how the law would affect their large thrift store operations.

While nonprofit thrift stores will not be required to test all materials, resellers can face civil and/or criminal penalties if they sell products that violate the new limits under the law. The CPSC recommended that nonprofit thrift stores should be especially discriminating towards products that may contain lead, including jewelry, painted toys and products with small parts, such as buttons, that a child could swallow.
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Title Annotation:BUSINESS BRIEFS
Author:Donohue, Michele
Publication:The Non-profit Times
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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