New federal law requires lead testing on products for children

By Holly Brantley

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Do you shop garage sales or thrift stores? What if we told you started next month everything you buy for children must be brand new? That's the implications of a new law that goes into effect February 10, 2009 aimed at keeping lead filled products away from children.

Once it goes into effect, all products sold for kids under 12 would have to meet lead testing requirements before they are sold.  That means items in stores manufactured before February 10, 2009 would have to be tested or thrown away and thrift store owners say they could shut down.  It would affect not only thrift stores, but charities like the Salvation Army and Goodwill.

Moms like Danielle Driskell depend on resale stores like Kids Wear Again in Cape Girardeau.

"I don't know what I'd do without these places," Driskell said.

She says if she's not shopping here she's shopping yard sales and thinks the new law is crazy.

"I can't afford to put my child in brand new everything," Driskell said. "That's ridiculous, and I shouldn't have to."

Under the new law, anything not tested, is considered hazardous.  That means every hair bow, button, toy, and piece of clothing would be sent to the junkyard.

"The law has good intentions to protect kids but it is extremely flawed," said Crissy Batchelor, owner of Kids Wear Again in Cape Girardeau.

Crissy says if regulations are enforced, it would shut down her family owned business.  She says they monitor all safety recalls, but there's no way any resale shop could pay to test all items for lead.

"It's just a crazy thought," said Batchelor. "It would cost thousands."

Andrea Russell shops and sells second-hand items.  She says amending the law to require testing on items manufactured after February 10, 2009 would make more sense.

"It would just give more time to start changing everything over," said Russell. "Instead of making it sound like everybody needs to go out and burn their old stuff.  It's ridiculous."  

Batchelor says while she's concerned, she will operate business as usual.  She's urging other sellers and shoppers to take action.

"We just want everybody to be informed," said Batchelor. "And, if they don't like the law, contact their congressman to get it changed."

Again, stores have no intentions to close.

Are you in favor of this new law regulating the re-sell of children's clothing and toys, also known as the
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