taken from the oldbookstore list [email@example.com] this afternoon
Below is from an email from our Library director from the American Library association. They are drafting a letter to the WO (Washington Office).
The Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in August and Bush signed it. It was proposed by Rep Bobby Rush and supported by Sen Diane Feinstein, who spoke in favor on the floor, displaying a photo of the son of her communications director playing in the bath with a rubber book toy. Her remarks kept mentioning the boy's favorite toy, this book. He was 8 months old.
Books are an unregulated product, so no one paid any attention to this legislation which was in response to China's flooding the US market with lead-tainted toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled books only when it involved trinkets and items glued to a book....and then as a choking hazard.
AAP first learned of CPSC's intent to include books in CPSIA when the big box stores threatened publishers that they would remove their product from shelves (and ship back to publishers at their expense) unless they got certification of compliance with CPSIA. AAP met with General Counsel of CPSC and then sent a letter asking the General Counsel to "immediately issue an advisory opinion letter to confirm the limited coverage of books and other non-book, paper-based printed materials under the lead, phthalate and applicable ASTM standards requirements..."
They provided strong evidentiary support that books shouldn't be subject to the requirements referenced in CPSIA because they do not present any of the health or safety risks to children that the requirements are intended to address. This evidence can be located at a web site they created, www.rrd.com/cpsia
The problem for schools and libraries would be that all books for children under 12 (they agree that ordinary books for everyone are exempt) must be tested, new and the books currently on the shelf, including textbooks.
The General Counsel rejected AAP's request, requiring testing on the finished product, not the components,
The WO will draft a letter and fax it to every Congressional Office. Our grass roots will approach the offices of those members who were the leaders for this bill and get their constituents to write in.
Our point is that this wasn't Congress' intent and they should tell General Counsel that this would weaken the desired benefits and just clog the queues of accredited labs for testing actual kid's toys.
The CPSC is currently accepting public comments on this. So we need EVERYONE, librarians, parents, teachers, local legislators to submit comments on this....demanding an opinion form General Counsel exempting books.
Can I say, if this exemption is not forthcoming, children under 12 will be banned from school and public libraries until all the books can be removed and destroyed?