In response to the lead tainted toy scare a few years back, Congress passed legislation that set safety standards for all goods used by children under twelve, including toys. The new regulations go into effect in February and many large toy companies say they are already testing the safety of their products. But small, independent toy makers say the cost of complying with the new rules will put them out of business.
William John Woods has been building wooden toys in Ogunquit, Maine, for 35 years. He makes wheeled vehicles and wooden baby rattles, and his products are finished with food-grade walnut oil and bee’s wax. He sells about 2,000 of the toys a year.
The new regulations would require that Woods test all the products he makes. “I would have to prove that what I’m using has no lead in it,” said Woods. “The total process would be about $300 or $400 dollars per toy. And even though they’re all the same shape, each size and color is considered a different product, according to the new law.”
Woods and other small toy makers have formed the Handmade Toy Alliance to lobby for an exemption to the new regulations…
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