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I received this from a friends of the libraries list I am on

As you know, Congress passed legislation titled “The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008” last August. This legislation seeks to decrease the levels of lead and phthalates in products intended for children 12 years of age or younger and will be enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This legislation was misinterpreted by the CPSC to include books.xml:namespace prefix = o /?

Thankfully, U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) recently introduced legislation to amend the CPSIA to exempt ordinary books from the lead limits within the bill. This legislation specifically exempts books and would ensure that children continue to have access to safe, educational and entertaining reading materials. Mr. Fortenberry cannot do this alone, and he needs our help to ensure that his colleagues understand books are indeed a safe product, but our children’s access to them is threatened because of the CPSC’s current interpretation.

Action Needed: In order to gain the attention this legislation deserves, please call or write your Representatives and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1692.

Time is of the essence; we have less than 11 months before the new implementation date arrives, and it is critical that we convince as many Members as possible to sign onto this legislation. Without our advocacy, this legislation will not move forward!

Currently, books are considered an unregulated product. This means they are generally considered safe and are not subject to the same rules and regulations as toys and other objects on the U.S. market. Under the new interpretation of the CPSIA, books would be subject to the same testing standards as children’s toys and clothing.

Very few recalls have actually involved books; in fact, the recalls surrounding books have not happened because of the books themselves but rather the toys that were attached to the books that were considered potential choking hazards. In spite of this information, the standard hardcover and paperback books would be subject to the same testing standards as children’s toys under the new legislation.

As a result, publishers have tested the components of books and found that the levels of lead in children’s books were far below the future legal requirements at the full implementation of the regulations three years from now. However, the advisory opinion from the CPSC says that not only must the testing be done by one of their certified labs but that this legislation also is retroactive, and every book currently in use must be tested. This situation will become even more complicated because the CPSC has not certified any labs to administer the lead testing.

At this point, the CPSC has issued a one-year stay in implementation – meaning, the legislation will not be implemented until February 10, 2010. However, the CPSC has indicated that they will not permanently exclude books without some sort of clear Congressional action.

Talking points on H.R. 1692:

  • Though the CPSC has interpreted the act to include ordinary books, Congress did not intend for them to be included.
  • This legislation would exempt ordinary books only – books that are published on paper or cardboard, printed by conventional publishing methods, intended to be read, and lacking inherent play value.
  • Testing has shown that finished books and their component materials contain total lead content at levels considered non-detectable
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that there is little risk to children from lead in ordinary books.
  • Libraries are grateful for this bill since it is proven that reading books is critical to child development, and libraries would like to continue to provide this service without the threat of regulation that would necessitate or mandate unnecessary and expensive testing.

lesliepear: (Default)

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

Good news for those who make handmade things - hopefully the testing and documentation requirements will be made much more reasonable from this point on!

lesliepear: (Default)
Reposted from [livejournal.com profile] keri80

A part of national blog-in day.

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

(end repost)

Note - Congress has acted on extending the deadline for digital TV conversion from 2/17 till 6/17 (Senate yes, House no). They should act on this which has even more far reaching affects on our economy and goes into affect sooner (2/10)!!!


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Leslie Gottlieb

April 2013

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