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New Law Forces Goodwill To Clear Shelves

February 11, 2009, 9:14 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

From Marshall, Minnesota to Mitchell, a new law is forcing Goodwill to pull thousands of products off store shelves. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, sometimes called the 'lead law,' took effect Tuesday. It bans anyone from selling anything that has lead in it. 

The new law was passed in August after several toys were recalled because they contained lead. The law only affects products that are made for children 12 years old or younger. Store owners could face up to a 100 thousand dollar fine for every violation. That's why Goodwill stores are now busy pulling children's toys and clothes off the shelves. 

It's not the economy that has kids clothes and toys flying off the shelves at Goodwill stores in the area, it's Congress.

 "That's really going to cut us in the pockets is not being able to shop second hand for children's stuff," Goodwill shopper Karil Harmon said. 

Because of the new 'lead law' Karil Harmon and her grandchildren from Lower Brule found out many of the racks are now empty at the Goodwill store in Sioux Falls. 

"Today, I was informed that it was also in the kids clothes and this is going to be the last I see of kids clothes in the second hand store." 

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is forcing all stores to take products for children that contain lead off their shelves. And because Goodwill doesn't have 40 thousand dollars to buy the equipment to test these toys and clothes, its pulling all the products that might have lead in them. 

"We are doing our due dillegence we're pulling items that we think will probably have lead base in them," Paul Kellen with Goodwill Industries said. 

That means almost half of the products for children will be gone from Goodwill stores, and people like Harmon are paying the price. 

"We're not going to have no access to second hand toys anymore. So, I don't know, it's going to hurt the pocketbook even more."

A spokesman for the 16 Goodwill stores in the Sioux Falls area says that employees are just taking these products off the shelves and not throwing them away. Goodwill officials say if the rules to the new law change it may allow them to sell some of the products again.

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