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It's amazing to me how we learn about things. I mean, "bailout" wasn't part of my vocabulary until recently. And it appears that another word will soon be added to my growing internal dictionary...

Ever heard of a phthalate before?

Well, there are currently 14 posts in my reader that talk about them.

Why? Because of the CPSIA--which is currently sparking a wildfire of rants and questions from people all over the nation wondering how we will be affected by this rather vague and poorly constructed law.

I have not had time--nor do I think I ever will--to actually read this law and all the commentary on the subject. But it sure has other people worried, and confused.

[Update: Thankfully, the law was amended to no longer include books... for now. Here's the latest news where books are no longer threatened to be required as part of testing. But, at the time, there were big questions regarding what the proposed law meant for Sonlight.]

What does it mean for homeschoolers everywhere?

How do we test for phthalates anyway?

I don't have answers, but I'm keeping my eyes and ears open. I definitely don't want to be broadsided by this in a month.

The one bit of good news is that someone far smarter and more versed in the law is checking into it here at Sonlight. I don't know what I'll be able to pass on, but if I hear anything that is postable, I'll be sure to keep you all informed.

Until then, it may be time to start teaching your children about phthalates and remind them not to eat paint chips that haven't been tested under the CPSIA regulations.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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  1. Jana, Mom to Mr. Q and Miss E + 7

    Luke did you see my blog about the latest update from the CPSC?

    It might simplify the research a bit.

    I know I am a new sonlighter, but I would be destroyed if something happened to the company.

    Keeping positive thoughts.

  2. Melonie

    I blogged about it twice and I'm still trying to formulate (no chemicals involved) the letter I want to write to my legislators. I had a commenter mention the other day on one of my older posts that this could affect "paper clips kids use in school".

    Hmmm. TECHNICALLY it could.... and of course I don't trust Congress or the CPSC when they say c'mon, we wouldn't really take it THAT far....trussssst us....everything's fiiiiiiine. But how unenforcable would it be on paper clips? C'mon.

    I'm much more worried about toys and small businesses and Goodwill, personally, than paper clips. BUT I'm glad this is finally hitting the media thanks to the efforts of the folks who are working their butts off to save their businesses and others - it's not like it only affects Mattel. ;-) I hope they'll see that the best way to handle this is to just SCRAP it and work on oh, I dunno, our current financial fiasco until they've got that fixed and I'll take care of buying lead-free toys from trustworthy sources. As for organic cotton onesies, I doubt they have too many pthalates or lead paint chips in them....but my husband grew up playing with paint chips off his grampa's barn and he's strong as an ox and has a scary level of immunity to illness. Maybe I'm doing this protecting my kids thing backwards........

  3. ~ Angi :)


    Here I thought I had an inexpensive snack at my disposal . . .


    The law does concern me, not only as to how it will hit home, but also in a broader sense. I am of the opinion that we are going to have many, many more encroaching type laws put upon us as time marches on . . .

  4. Mrs. C

    Would I be paranoid if I just assumed that only public school materials would somehow be magically deemed "lead and phthalate-free" under the law?


  5. Mrs. C

    OO! I know! I just had a brilliant idea. Tape a battery to the corner of every book when you sell them. Then they will be classified as electronics instead!


    You are welcome.

  6. Luke

    Jana, I saw that this morning. That is a good sign <smile>. Thank you!

    Melonie: "...formulate (no chemicals involved)..." <laughing> Love it. And you make some great points.

    Angi, you're hilarious. And I too am wary.

    Mrs. C, that is brilliant! Thank you so much. I'll pass that on to "the powers that be" <smile>.

    You're all the best!