A public meeting was held January 22 with Kristina Hatlelid, Directorate for Health Sciences, and other Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff to allow Allan Robert Adler, of the Association of American Publishers, and major publishing companies to discuss the lead content of books. The meeting was a time for the publishing companies to explain their research to the CPSC staff that proves that normal books (non-play, paper books) do not contain lead in the amount specified under the CPSIA. The publishing companies have compiled a group of 300 test results that can be viewed here
After the meeting, Cheryl Falvey, General Counsel for the CPSC, stated that a decision should be made by the first week of February. She advised libraries not to take any action at this time, and we are hopeful that the Commission's decision will exempt libraries.
Even with her assurances, we must let the CPSC know how important an issue this is to libraries. You can visit their Web site, found here
Please feel free to use the sample language below, but personalize it to make your comments known. Studies have shown that individual letters are significantly more effective than form letters, so let's make sure they understand how important their action will be.
As always, thank you for all that you do. The only way we will be successful in ensuring that children will have access to safe books is with a strong grassroots effort. Your comments to the CPSC need to be submitted as soon as possible, so please tell all your friends and family - we need as many people as possible to communicate that this oversight could have lasting ramifications on our children and our
Dear General Counsel Falvey:
It has come to my attention that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 has been interpreted to include books as a product that must be tested for lead. While I can understand the need to protect children from toxic materials, publishers have already tested the book components and found that the lead levels are lower than the regulations require three years from now. Additionally, all book recalls in the last two decades have been because of toys attached to the books that posed a choking hazard, not the books themselves.
Making these testing regulations retroactive would require both school and public libraries to take drastic steps to come into compliance.
They would either they would have to ban children from their libraries or pull every book intended for children under the age of 12 from their bookshelves at the time children are fostering a lifelong love of
learning and reading.
In order to allow children and families to continue accessing critical library materials, please either exempt books from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, accept the component tests that have already been done, or exempt all books currently in school and public libraries. This will ensure that our children continue to have access to safe and educational library materials.
Government Relations Specialist
American Library Association - Washington Office
1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20009-2520
Phone Number: 202.628.8410