Friday, January 9, 2009

The Outrage Continues

Regarding the legislation of lead testing in children's products.

How does this affect libraries, I wonder? Are they allowed to check books out to children without a lead (and possibly phthalates) testing certificate for each one? Most library collections have a great many older books.

While the article above does have a certain hysteric tinge to it, one can hardly fail to wonder whether legislators thought to ask anyone in the book/children's product industries just what practical effects their laws would have. You know, in case the laws wouldn't just be bad for the bad guys.

Thanks to Kris for the link

12 comments:

acpaul said...

My faith in the simple, almost elegant stupidity at all of levels of government is once more validated and retained.

BuffySquirrel said...

Hmm, yeah, it's really unreasonable to require the end product to be tested just because the manufacturer shows you pieces of paper proving what's gone into it. Nobody would ever secretly add melamine, antifreeze or lead to their products to "improve" them....

jeanne said...

I got an e-mail from our local kid's consignment shop regarding this. They are (understandably) worried about their business.

The government going overboard and doing things in a completely bureaucratic, inefficient, unjustifiably expensive way? I don't believe it!

Diane Foote said...

The ALA Washington Office has sent a letter to Congress and is preparing a press release and ways for librarians, publishers, and other concerned citizens to weigh in on this issue with their elected officials. I will post information here as I receive it, or you may check the ALA Web site periodically.
--Diane Foote, Executive Director, ALSC

Dana said...

I vote we just teach kids not to lick the books. Problem solved. :)

Ebony McKenna. said...

It's all those 12-y-old girls reading Twilight, hugging those heavy books to their chests, sighing heavily and swooning.

BuffySquirrel said...

Hmm, I don't lick books any more, but I have been known to stroke them occasionally.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Here's an update from yesterday with rules for resale shops:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09086.html

I assume libraries would be under the same umbrella-- they won't have to test the books, but will be liale if some kid gets lead poisoning from them....

Not that they're likely to have lead-filled books anyway.... maybe some of the REALLY old ones with red covers, but I doubt those survive in the children's sections.....

Criss said...

There are A LOT of problems with CPSIA; handmade toys (think Etsy) are in danger of extinction thanks to this blanket law. Project Linus (http://www.projectlinus.org) would also have to shut down, unless they agreed to test every donated blanket, quilt, or afghan before giving it to a child in need.

For more info, go to http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/Home to find out who to contact your congresspeople about this.

(Sorry for the unsolicited public service announcement, but this is a pretty big deal to me... yes, we're used to the government being stupid -- I work in education, I'm well aware of the problem -- but that doesn't mean we have to let them get away with it.)

Wacky Hermit said...

A CPSC spokesperson went on the record saying Project Linus specifically would not be affected, so I'm guessing they don't consider donations as "introducing into the stream of commerce." The problem is with selling, not with giving (unless you're giving away as part of a sale, like a freebie or promotional item).

So while I haven't read CPSC's General Counsel opinion on books that they sent to the ALA, I've read the ALA's response and it seems that CPSC told them books ARE covered. So I would imagine that they're not going to make books be taken away from children, but they will make it much harder to acquire used books, which will make opening new libraries and replacing missing/damaged books difficult if not impossible, as they will only be able to get titles still in print.

Just my two cents as someone who's read the law myself; IANAL.

Criss said...

Turns out libraries are not safe from CPSIA after all: http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

*sigh*...

christine tripp said...

Things like this drive me crazy!
To heck with books, do these "authorities" know every house built before 1960 have lead pipes going into homes, supplying our DRINKING water? Do they tell the population that standing on the road waiting for a bus is more toxic then second hand smoke?
Of course not.