From The Syracuse Post Standard, a blog entry covering local librarians’ reaction to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’s effective ban on pre-1985 children’s books because of the potential, minute lead content in the ink:
Elizabeth Dailey, executive director of the Onondaga County Public Library, said she doesn’t think legislators made the connection between children’s books and the toys they were targeting.
“When you think through the implications, it means closing our libraries to children,” Dailey said. In order to prevent this, Dailey said, new legislation needs to make it clear that books are not the same things as toys.
Of course, Congressional leadership and key committee chairmen show no inclination to make necessary changes to the law.
In the meantime, the librarians may take comfort in the decision of the Consumer Product Safety Commission not to enforce the law, but there’s no telling what an attorney general or lawsuit-minded attorney might do to the libraries (and thrift stores, and used book stores, and private sellers) who violate the law. Their liability remains.
UPDATE (12:40 p.m.): Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) introduced a bill in March exempting books from the CPSIA lead limits, H.R. 1692. The bill has gone nowhere.
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