Friday, February 20, 2009

FJTA Still Pushing For Crystal Exemption

Thank goodness for the Federal Jewelry Trade Association (FJTA). Without this association, children's jewelry designers would be S.O.L.!

As of February 19th, the Commission has yet to respond to the FJTAs petition for crystal exemption in children's jewelry. But have no fear, the law firm for the FJTA is all over it. Here's the latest, word for word, on the inquiry submitted to the CPSC on February 17th:

"...we urge the Commission to immediately docket the Crystal Petition and to issue a statement of enforcement discretion regarding children's products using crystal in a manner that adheres to the provisions of California Health & Safety Code 25214.1.4 governing exclusions for crystal. Once docketed, under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), the Commission could issue an immediate temporary final rule to exclude crystal from the total lead limits until the rulemaking was completed. Immediate action will not result in harm to children who wear or handle crystal or glass rhinestones in jewelry and apparel. Without prompt action companies are being forced to accept returns of unsafe product for destruction, or to compensate customers for unsold products featuring crystals and rhinestones."

Looks like we will probably see the CPSIA revised to read much like the Lead in Jewelry Law as written in the State of California. At least let's hope so anyway! To check out California's current Lead in Jewelry Law, click the link below:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

FJTA Petitions CPSIA to Allow Crystals in Children's Jewelry

Today, the CPSIA posted a petition from the Federal Jewelry Trade Association to ask that crystals and glass beads be excluded from the current "banned components" list in children's jewelry.

The proposed regulations reads as follows:

"The Commission should issue a temporary final rule amending Part 1500 by adding a new provision as follows:

Exemptions from total lead limits under Section 101 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act for glass and crystal beads and rhinestones and glass and crystal decorative articles and objects.

(a) The following class of materials used in children's products is excluded from the prohibitions of Section 101(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act:

(1)glass and crystal beads or rhinestones less than 1 gram in children's products primarily designed or intended for children age six (6) and younger;
(2) glass and crystal beads or rhinestones in children's products primarily designed or intended for children 7-12; and
(3) all decorative uses of glass and crystal such as picture frames, lamp and figurines in children's products.

To read the entire proposal, click the link below:

Let's keep our fingers crossed that they vote on this soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How the CPSIA Affects Children's Jewelry Designers

As most children's designers and retailers know, the Consumer Product Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) took affect today. I've been researching this for the past couple of months and right when I feel that I've got a grasp on things, new information develops and/or guidelines change. Then, it's back to "square one". I've also had many children's jewelry designers contact me regarding this issue. I myself have contacted those in my line of business to seek advice and collaborate on how to comply with this new law.
Most of the information posted on the web is one's intepretation of this poorly and vaguley written law. It's EXTREMELY difficult to find a solution when there are so many shades of gray. The bottom line is you either "sink or swim" and I've put too much into Fairy Tale Jewels to just close up shop. The following is MY interpretation of the law. Please feel free to comment if you have another opinion or additional information to share :0)

If you are a children's jewelry designer, we are one of the hardest ones hit with this new law. The stay recently placed on the CPSIA does NOT apply to us. Nope, starting TODAY, manufacturers and sellers of children's jewelry (including crafters) have to have an accredited laboratory test their jewelry and certify that it's within the allowable limits.

Now, there are a few exceptions. If your products are designed with the following, you DO NOT have to test (for now anyway):

  • Precious gemstones: diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald
  • Semi-precious gemstones, "provided that the mineral or material is not based on lead or lead compounds and is not associated in nature with any mineral that is based on lead or lead compounds (unacceptable stones include aragonite, bayldonite, boleite, cerussite, crocoite, linarite, mimetite, phosgenite, vanadinite & wulfenite)
  • Natural or cultured pearls (pearls that are dyed MUST be tested)
  • .925 sterling silver beads, charms, components

So, if you have a bracelet designed with anything other than what is listed above, then in needs to be tested. If you have a bracelet designed with all sterling silver components and colorful cat's eye has to be tested. Yes, cat's eye beads do contain lead. It's a different form of lead (it's encased), but nonetheless, it is lead. Swarovski crystals...big no, no. Ok, you can use one 6mm round, it's equal to 300 ppms...woohoo! Or, a couple of 4mm bicones, whoopie!

My plan is to use cubic zirconia instead of Swarovski crystals. Much, much more expensive (like 5x's the cost of Swarovski), but there's not really any other options available. I thought about Czech glass crystals, but they even have traces of lead in them. Maybe not enough to add up, but they do contain lead.

The CPSIA has said that they will have definite answers as to which components are acceptable by August '09. So for now, it's CZs for me, freshwater pearls and sterling silver. So much for being inspired by color!

If you would like to read more about the CPSIA, please checkout the link below: