Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CPSIA - an update

Awhile ago, I mentioned the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)and how the bill was going to essentially put most small, handmade, children's products companies out of business (at least most of the folks on etsy) given the exorbitant cost of testing. Additionally, the bill was written so broadly that it was going to affect children's books and therefore libraries. At least it looks like, libraries have gotten a reprieve. I got an update from the American Libraries Association stating the following:

As the American Library Association (ALA) has emphasized since first
enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA),
concern for children*s safety is our first priority in providing
materials to young patrons. On August 26, 2009, the CPSC*s final rule
on children*s products containing lead was released. In the rule,
CPSC confirmed that libraries have no independent obligation to test
library books for lead under the law. CPSC also announced its intention
to release a Statement of Policy specifically providing guidance for
libraries with regard to the treatment of older children*s books that
could potentially contain lead. According to our conversations with
CPSC officials, that Statement of Policy should be released within the
next several weeks.

While we await the Statement of Policy, ALA recommends that libraries
take the following actions. If a library is aware that any children*s
book does indeed contain lead above the legal limits or otherwise
presents a danger to children, it should remove it from public access,
for instance by moving it to the non-circulating collection. We would
also ask that if libraries do learn of any books containing lead to
please let the ALA * Washington Office know so that we might share
that information with other libraries. When the Statement of Policy is
released, we will promptly notify our members.