Saturday, January 31, 2009

One Year Reprieve for Libraries

Nothing like waiting until the last minute, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission has finally blinked on the requirement that all children's books be removed from library shelves until it could be determined that they were not toxic. Now it's up to the libraries to convince those who must be obeyed that printing ink should be exempted from such testing.

(Near miss allows library escape for now)

From a Houston Chronicle article:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Friday that it will postpone lead testing requirements that would have put libraries at risk of liability lawsuits for loaning children’s books.

Congress tightened limits on lead levels in children’s toys as part of the Consumer Project Safety Improvement Act, following a lead paint scare from imported children’s toys. The new requirements were set to take effect Feb. 10 and carried the weight of civil or criminal penalties for distributors of children’s products, including books.

This decision, once entered in the Federal Register, will give public libraries one year to decide how to bring their collections of children’s books into compliance.

While pleased, advocates of libraries would like to see more than a postponement of the requirement.
Surely, a reasonable compromise can be reached sometime during the next year...even with the Federal Government in the picture.


  1. I had not heard of this. How crazy! Even if the ink was found to be toxic, it is not as if the libraries were knowingly lending children toxic materials. Sometimes the world goes overboard on these types of lawsuits.

  2. Thank goodness for the government! Nothing like making the organization that has no control over how a product is made responsible for its contents.

  3. I can only imagine what this would cost if applied retroactively to library shelves - and how empty the shelves would be for a number of years as a result.

  4. Our government at work, Factotum. Makes you proud, doesn't it?