I live in California. And here in California, gosh, there's a warning label everywhere you turn. The gas pump causes cancer. The ceramic plates could have lead. This pesticide sprayed here will kill you this way and that. This restaurant uses a microwave. That restaurant received a "C" grade. Video games can cause seizures. Televisions emit microwaves. Rip currents over there. High bacterials levels at that beach. (I'm convinced now that California is just pretty deadly: "Welcome to California! Prepare to DIE"). And I still go about my life.
Frankly, I do not think there is much awareness of the dangers of lead to small children. I also think that the government cannot babysit all children and that parents should make informed, responsible decisions for (and with) their kids. For handmade children's items, for which, as discussed, lead testing is simply unfeasible, what if there was some kind of official warning label? You all know the warning labels for tobacco products. How about something like:
"Ingestion and inhalation of lead and heavy metals can lead to possible neurological, reproductive and kidney damage. Children under the age of 12 should not have oral contact with items containing more than 300 parts per million of lead and/or heavy metals. Lead is commonly found in paints, dyes, vinyl and some plastics and metals. THIS ITEM HAS NOT BEEN TESTED FOR LEAD AND HEAVY METALS."
And then the seller could make an explanation of the materials she uses (oragnic, Öko-Tex, Ecolabel, etc.).
That way, the consumer has the information he or she needs to make an informed decision: "A. Lead is bad. B. I don't know if this item contains lead or not. C. If my kid doesn't chew on it or ingest it, he'll probably be okay. I might not give this to my 7-month-old, who puts everything in her mouth. But for my 8-year-old nephew, this item would be okay."
Kinda "use at your own risk"...
Would that work?
By the way, did you know that the greatest source of lead, which leads to lead poisoning in the United States is from household dust? Partly from crumbling paint, but also derived from plain soil? Dust and dirt. Try and ban that. I'd like that ban. The way my son dirties up his new clothes playing soccer and football should be a felony.
Just an idea.