The kids got up at 4 this morning, found their Nerf guns that Santa left for them, and shot each other and their new Webkinz plush. Bagel fired the first shot, and the hallway quickly turned into a free-fire zone.
I got a Christmas present too. The CPSC issued some recommendations. First, they categorically declared all natural materials like wood, cotton, and wool to be lead-free in their natural state, so my friends who make plain wooden toys are now safe. Second, they declared that there will be a process to apply for an exemption if you can show scientific evidence that your materials are below the acceptable level of lead. This means that I will still have to get some testing done, but that XRF and component testing will likely prove acceptable, and based on it I can apply for an exemption from testing each dye lot of yarn. The CPSC now appears to be open to a component-based approach to testing. I don't know if my little protest contributed to this, since before they were insisting that Congress' intent was that each individual product be tested. Maybe Congress had a different intent, and our protest helped them realize that they needed to communicate that to the CPSC.
I found an environmental engineer/lawyer who does XRF testing cheap, and prepared a set of samples that I'll be sending off tomorrow. Getting my future back is the best Christmas present I've ever received.
Merry Christmas everyone!