Today is an impromptu post in follow up to a post on Cutting for Business last week: Where to Buy Popsicle Sleeves for Crafting. In the post, I mentioned that if the popsicle sleeves have a smell, you can set them in the sun for a few days to eliminate it. I also mentioned that the smell was likely caused by being sprayed with pesticides during the importation process. This statement confused some Cutting for Business readers and made others mad. It became apparent to me that we needed to have a quick talk about the importation process of not just popsicle sleeves, but anything that has been imported into the USA (or any other country), including foods, fabrics, apparel, car parts, etc. Why? Because informed sellers (and consumers) make for good businesses.
Importation Process for Goods (A super simplified version)
- Goods are manufactured in a country other than the USA.
- Goods are packaged in shipping containers.
- Shipping containers and/or goods are sprayed with pesticides or fungicides to prevent the spread of pests* from one country to another. Shipping containers are sprayed/fumigated since the floors are usually wooden and could easily transport pests.
- The containers arrive in the USA and are sent to stores or warehouses for storage or sale to consumers.
- Consumers or small businesses purchase the goods. The residues or smells from pesticides or fungicides may be transferred to the goods depending on the packaging of the goods and the materials the goods are made from.
A Few Notes
- Within the USA, pesticides are governed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). You can search for more information on FIFRA on Google. While pesticide use in regulated in the USA, the same requirements may not be in place in the country of origin of the goods.
- *Pests include: insects, rodents, fungus, weed, virus, bacteria, and other micro-organisms.
This post was meant to share information that I thought was more commonly known, and to give you a starting point if you are interested in learning more about pesticides used in importing and shipping containers. There is a wealth of information online for you to investigate, just use your favorite search engine. In general, the use of pesticides is needed to eliminate cross contamination between countries and is a standard for all imported goods. Before you head out to create in your small business, USA made and organic made goods have different standards which often result in products that are exposed to less outside contaminants.
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