The advocacy action phone calls and e-mails to the Commission have paid off. It has just been announced at ALA Council that early next week the Commission will put a hold on the issue of lead in books while they investigate the issue.
Can you imagine school, public, (and university) libraries having to remove all juvenile books for lead testing? Neither can we!
Please call Nancy Nord at (301) 504-7923 today and leave a message supporting the exclusion of children's books from lead testing. Follow the instructions below.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 has been interpreted to include books as a product that must be tested for lead.
While it is understandable that the CPSC must protect children from toxic materials, publishers have already tested the book components and found that the lead levels are lower than the regulations require three years from now. Additionally, all book recalls in the last two decades have been because of toys attached to the books that posed a choking hazard, not the books themselves.
Making these testing regulations retroactive would require both school and public libraries to take drastic steps to come into compliance. They either would have to ban children from their libraries or pull every book intended for children under the age of 12 from their bookshelves at the time children are fostering a lifelong love of learning and reading.
CALL CPSC Today
Even with her assurances, we must let the CPSC know how important an issue this is to libraries. Please call the Acting Commissioner, Nancy Nord, at (301) 504-7923. When you call this number, wait for the automated directory to give you directions to reach Nancy Nord’s office.
Explain to the Commission that:
1) it is simply impossible for libraries to remove all children’s books from the shelves and/or ban children under 12 from the library and still provide the level of service that is needed.
2) As always, thank you for all that they do. The only way we will be successful in ensuring that children will have access to safe books is with a strong grassroots effort.
3)In order to allow children and families to continue accessing critical library materials, please either exempt books from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, accept the component tests that have already been done, or exempt all books currently in school and public libraries. This will ensure that our children continue to have access to safe and educational library materials
4) Your comments to the CPSC need to be submitted as soon as possible, so please tell all your friends and family – we need as many people as possible to communicate that this oversight could have lasting ramifications on our children and our communities.
Thank you for your continued support of libraries!
This information was originally received from:
Government Relations Specialist
American Library Association - Washington Office
1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20009-2520
Phone Number: 202.628.8410