Thursday, January 8, 2009

Frightening CPSIA legislation - ACT NOW

PLEASE READ THIS! I am appalled at what this law will mean to the structure of our economic system.

In August 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) (PL 110-787) was passed by Congress to strengthen product safety laws to ensure only safe and compliant products are sold to our nation's children. While well-intentioned, this legislation imposes several new and burdensome requirements that increase costs at a time of economic upheaval but that do not offer any improvement in the safety of children's clothing or footwear.

Urge your members of Congress today to work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop a pragmatic approach to the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Strengthening our product safety system is an important goal, but this can only be achieved if there are predictable and commonsense regulations that address safety risks.

Click this link to send an email protesting this law and asking for solutions to the problems it will cause when it goes into effect on February 10.

Here is an excerpt I received today in a homeschool newsletter from Heather Idoni of

Notes from Heather

The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned
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? 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

Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30,
2009. Or email:

2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact informa-
tion, 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.


Anonymous said...

This is a very, very serious law! And, what a horrific "domino-effect!"

I wonder what will happen to Ebay?

Thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

I just went back and reread your post.. the penalty is quite severe, as well! I don't think drug dealers get that much "time" for selling ONE joint/pill.


Happy Panda said...

Thank you for spreading the word to your readers.

Diosa Domestica De La Locura said...

I added your post to my blog to keep spreading the word. This law creeps me out!


Holly Jahangiri said...

HOW did this law fly under the radar for this long? It's been in the works for over a year. HOW do we put the brakes on it, now that it IS a law - FAST enough to save these small businesses and save children from the harm inherent in having to destroy or not publish books for them? In not being able to sell them clothing - or even give it away to them for free? No more toys, except from large manufacturers (who probably won't be able to sell anything unique or novel - just the standard stuff that they can be sure of selling in huge quantities that justify testing). Nothing with complex parts - like kids' cameras, microscopes, telescopes - if the cost of testing one book title is prohibitive, the cost of testing complex articles is exponentially worse.

Please come on over to my blog post and leave a link back to yours!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the "anonymous" statement that "drug dealers [don't] get that much 'time' for selling one joint/pill" it should be noted that there has never been a single authenticated death from marijuana. On the other hand, there are 310,000 children under 5 years of age with abmormally increased levels of lead. Poisoning resulted in $26 billion dollars of medical expense in 2005 and the cost goes up every year. I'n not suggesting we feed our children marijuana just because it won't hurt them, but if we are concerned about our childrens' health, lead is worth worrying about. Marijuana, although often a target, is not worth worrying about.

Holly Jahangiri said...

Oh my God, Anonymous II - no one's saying it's not worth worrying about lead, but put the burden on the manufacturers of the raw materials - not the artisans, small press publishers, thrift stores, etc. As written, this law has horrible, far-reaching, and most likely unintended effects. It's just not well thought out or written. We can't afford to have that many small businesses and families go bankrupt right now. Starvation kills kids, too. So does walking around naked...