Saturday, March 24, 2012

Questions About CPSIA for Doll Sellers

The CPSIA (Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act) regulates lead and phthlate levels in products sold for children age twelve and under. I would assume that a large multi-national company like Mattel would have their dolls tested, regardless of Where they were made. And dolls sold at major U.S. Department stores, Toys'r-us, and Wal-Mart should have been previously tested, whether or not Mattel made them.

But if I want to sell "Fair Trade" items, beads, dolls, etc., I suppose I must bring up CPSIA compliance with each specific manufacturer Before buying their products.

Does anyone who buys cloth, beads, or other items manufactured by small companies abroad know how to deal with this problem?

I am wondering if this law means that I can only buy cloth, beads, yarn and ribbon from U.S. or developed country manufacturers. This is Not what I want to do! For any of you who Create outfits or accessories for dolls, how do you deal with this law and this issue?

Part of my goal in beginning a small business is to use up cloth which would otherwise be likely to end up in the dump. This includes wedding scraps, light weight upholstry material like brocade and velvet, drapery scraps of silk and satin, etc. The problem is that I have No Idea what chemicals these fabrics may have been treated with. Upholstry or drapery or wedding scraps Are Not made for children under twelve. So do I toss all of this lovely fabric in a Land Fill? Ridiculous!

And If I wish to purchase Fair Trade items, do I need to contact Each Fair Trade Manufacturer? Think I will start by contacting the FTF (Fair Trade Federation) to see if they require goods sold for kids in U.S. to meet PSIA standards. Hope SO!

I've noticed that Barbie doesn't use a lot of beading for decoration. There are exceptions, but in general, Barbie dolls are dressed in lace, netting, etc. for decoration. I have already Done a fair amount of beadwork on doll clothing which I want to sell. I will contact store where beads were purchased. But I have a supply of beads from Before 2009, when the CPSIA was passed. I cannot remember Whear I purchased Each package of beads. Does this mean I should sell beaded outfits Only to Adult Collectors? And what about clothing made of cloth which is in Perfect condition, but Isn't made for little kids to chew on, like drapery, wedding, and upholstry scrraps?

Any help you fellow craftspeople can offer would be appreciated! This law may put me Out of Business!


  1. Mind if I submit your query on Facebook, etc.?

  2. April 5 - Webcast on Toy Safety for Makers of Doll Clothes and Soft stuffed Dolls/Animals

    I was checking the web to see if there were others that might be interested in this this webcast and came across your post. While I believe my doll clothes and child products are safe, it’s been hard to figure out how to Certify they are safe under the Consumer Product Safety Commission Toy Safety Laws ( When you are dealing with small batches (60 rather than 10,000) of doll clothes and dolls, testing and certifying can be extremely costly. Hopefully this webcast will help. My thought is that if we share information on safety, the requirements and sources of safe certified supplies for dolls and doll clothes we can make this easier and less costly for all of us.
    Thursday, April 5

    Neal S. Cohen (Small Business Ombudsman) speaking via webcast to members of the Handmade Toy Alliance (HTA) and other interested manufacturers of doll clothing on April 5th, 2012 at 1 pm EST. The presentation was requested by Jolie Fay of the HTA and addresses the children’s product safety rules applicable to manufacturers of doll clothing. The session will be recorded and added to the "Webcast" section of the Small Business webpage at where prior Small Business Ombudsman webcasts have also been archived. Please contact Neal S. Cohen at to submit questions in advance and to ensure that you are added to the e-mail list coordinating this webcast. The webcast will can be viewed at

    Lynn Persson

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