Does the new requirement for total lead on children's products apply to children's books, cassettes and CD's, printed game boards, posters and other printed goods used for children's education?
In general, yes. CPSIA defines children’s products as those products intended primarily for use by children 12 and under. Accordingly, these products would be subject to the lead limit for paint and surface coatings at 16 CFR part 1303 (and the 90 ppm lead paint limit effective August 14, 2009) as well as the new lead limits for children’s products containing lead (600 ppm lead limit effective February 10, 2009, and 300 ppm lead limit effective August 14, 2009). If the children’s products use printing inks or materials which actually become a part of the substrate, such as the pigment in a plastic article, or those materials which are actually bonded to the substrate, such as by electroplating or ceramic glazing, they would be excluded from the lead paint limit. However, these products are still considered to be lead containing products irrespective of whether such products are excluded from the lead paint limit and are subject to the lead limits for children’s products containing lead. For lead containing children’s products, CPSIA specifically provides that paint, coatings, or electroplating may not be considered a barrier that would render lead in the substrate inaccessible to a child.
*****UPDATED TO ADD a link I received from another homeschool mom with clarification for resellers****
And now for the note I received:
Oh, how I wish this were a joke! But it is a grim and looming, almost Orwellian, reality.
Effective February 10th, in the United States, the sale of all children's books (books intended for children ages 12 and under) is to be PROHIBITED. Every single book printed prior to the ruling is affected, whether new or used. New books in production are required to include a "lead-free" certification and will be the only books that are legal to offer for sale.
What does this mean to the homeschooling family?
Well, for one, curriculum fairs across the country will be cancelled as book vendors scramble to figure out how to comply with the new ruling. Complete book inventories will have to be destroyed -- the ruling even prohibits giving away the books! Local thrift stores will be hard hit -- most will likely have to close their doors -- yes, even Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Clothing, toys and books -- even CDs and DVDs are included in the ruling. Thrift stores will no longer be able to accept or process anything (including clothing) that would be intended for a child.
No more library sales. Libraries will not be permitted to give away or sell book donations. It is unsure yet, however, how the libraries' shelves themselves will be impacted (the ruling doesn't explicitly mention "loaning" books, just selling or giving them away). The key word, however, is "distribution" --libraries may well be required to destroy books from their shelves.
(The ruling that originally passed was about toys, but the EPA has since made a statement that clothing, books and media are included in "children's toys".)
Just how serious is this new law?
Amazon.com has already notified all vendors of their need to comply. No book can be sold at the Amazon site that was printed prior to compliance. And the "compliance" must be coordinated at the manufacturing stage. At the time of this article there is no clause to be able to grandfather-in older books or even rare out-of-print
books. It can cost between $500 and $1500 to test a book for lead.
I happen to own a children's bookstore specializing in living books from the 1950s and '60s. My punishment for selling a book after February 10th? Up to $100,000 and 5 years in jail. And yes, it is a felony charge. For selling a SINGLE book.
(Although I don't think the S.W.A.T. team scenario would become a reality overnight, at the same time I would be leery of blatantly violating Federal law.)
So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that sells children's books? Or that homeschool curriculum business? Or your EBay business selling children's items?
ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines:
1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at 888-531-9070.
Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009. Or mail: Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov
2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact information, just enter your zip code.
3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.
4) Sign the petition.
5) Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same.
For the complete story, read the following links:
ABOUT THE NEW LAW
Summaries on Legislation Index page for Children's Products Containing Lead
Office of the General Counsel FAQ on retroactive inventory requirements -- The use of forward effective dates appears to force current inventories to adhere to the ruling on February 10th, 2009.
Specific FAQ on their interpretation of books and other media to be included in the testing of lead based products.
Effective Date: Lead content limit of 600 ppm becomes effective 180 days after enactment. An advisory opinion regarding the application of the new lead limit to inventory existing at the effective date can be found on our web site.
Getting the Lead out. There is no lead in children's books.
From a Pediatrician.
What are your thoughts on this, folks? Will you join me in contacting our government?
PS - A saying, attributed to Ben Franklin, constantly circulates in my mind. You’ve heard it: “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” American Vision Article on Safety's War on Thrift/