The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. This law was initiated in reaction to the recent scares of lead poisoning in children's toys. While we all agree that eliminating harmful toxins such as lead is a good thing, the way the US government is going about it is not. It goes to extremes and does not incorporate common sense.
Why should you be concerned?
This law affects anyone that buys items, or makes items, for children under 12. Parents will see rising costs in not only toys, but school supplies, clothing, books - ANYTHING used by a child under 12 must be tested. Since these tests are very costly, the prices of these items will rise, which in our poor economy is not a good thing.
Businesses will suffer, particularly the small business owners such as those on Etsy (handmade goods are not exempt from this law either). For makers of limited or one of a kind items, this law may very well force them out of business, since these tests are often destructive (hence you'd need to make more than one of every item you want to sell, one for testing and another to actually sell). Even non-destructive testing is nearly prohibitively expensive for all but large manufacturers.
If you would like to get involved, please contact your senators and representatives and let them know that this law needs to be modified. While nearly unaminously approved when initially voted on, many apparently didn't even realize what this law would mean. To look up representatives you can check http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html and to find senators check http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
More info about the CPSIA can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html