[ExI] they're everywhere (thrift shops)

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Mon Jan 19 22:29:51 UTC 2009

At 11:15 PM 1/18/2009, you wrote:
>On 1/18/09, hkhenson <<mailto:hkhenson at rogers.com>hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:
>At 04:32 PM 1/18/2009, Kevin wrote:
>There's no decision made that doesn't benefit some people while 
>detrimenting others, so it doesn't surprise me in the least that 
>another law is going to harm the interests of many people, the 
>question is what is best for the nation as a whole.
>This was a poorly thought out law.  It's not a big burden when you 
>test a lot from China for Walmart.  That's what they were thinking about.
>I think where I'm coming from is either these safety standards are 
>important and need to be followed, or they do not.  I mean, are you 
>proposing that we single out China, or Walmart, or mass production, 
>and allege that products from smaller or native businesses are 
>"safe"?  Is it only certain *kinds* of products?
>I don't know a whole lot about the issues involved and, after 
>reading the original post, I'm not much more informed.  These are 
>the kinds of questions I ask myself whenever I hear something like 
>this on some political proposal or another, but usually keep quiet 
>about.  It just surprises me that not everyone thinks this way.
>I understand if you guys are saying that the law is overextended to 
>products that we don't have to be concerned about safety.  For 
>instance, do we really have to worry about getting toxins from our 
>clothes?  But, in the cases where we *do* have to be concerned about 
>safety like children's toys, it doesn't make any sense that we'll 
>require safety standards only if it isn't a great burden to the 
>manufacturer.  If we are at all concerned about safety, then we 
>should be concerned whether or not the product comes from a large 
>business or a small business, or from a foreign business or a native business.

Native businesses in the US don't use lead paint.  In fact, I don't 
think it's been possible to buy that kind of pant in the US for a 
number of decades.

>One of the effects of this law is to slam poor people who tend to 
>buy clothes for their kids at thrift shops--Goodwill, Salvation Army 
>and the like.  There is no possible way a thrift shop can test 
>clothing, the cost is hundreds of times the value of the item.
>I don't have any answers.  How can it be that expensive to test 
>whether or not your products are safe?

I don't think you have the concept "thrift shop" in US terms.  It's a 
charity place that takes donations of all kinds of stuff, but 
particularly clothing and sells the used clothing at a small fraction 
of new cost.  They don't produce clothing so you can't say they have 
products.  And the cost to test a piece of clothing for lead down 
into the parts per million is not low.  It most likely involves the 
total destruction of a sample.

Virtually every item in one of those stores is unique.


>The potential harm is hard to quantify, but it seems to me to be 
>very small, particularly with clothes.  The cost to the very limited 
>resources of the poor is substantial.
>I think so too.
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