Monday, January 12, 2009

Endless CPSIA Problems . . . .

From: Rick Woldenberg
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2009 1:55 PM
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Subject: CPSIA Problems Seem Endless

Ahead of our phone conference today, I thought you might want to read the below letter represented to be from Random House. Apparently, it really is Goodnight Moon time now. We also heard today from a manufacturer of industrial products that certain of its distributors are demanding CPSIA test certificates. Why? Because although the products are intended for industrial use by the manufacturer, the dealer apparently has some Middle and High School customers. Although the manufacturer is fully entitled to ignore the CPSIA, the dealer seems to be subject to the new testing rules, and thus the market demands that the manufacturer waste vast amounts of money on useless testing – or commerce ends.

These sad stories are just examples of the damage done by the CPSIA. It is crushing commerce NOW. Honestly, what did anyone expect when a law was written to make everything illegal unless proven otherwise. The U.S. economy is infinitely diverse and complex. The breadth of business models in this economy is so vast that laws touching them all must be very carefully considered. As the market is clearly telling us, it is just not possible to outlaw everything and assign the CPSC the task of creating a list of exceptions. Attempting to fix this problem with bandaids is destined to fail – there is no way out without legislative action.

The outcry from members of the Children’s Products industry is for fair laws – laws that permit commerce while also protecting children. We are all passionate about kids and want them safe. Safety, however, is not an abstract concept. Let’s work together to build a law that works – that catches bad guys, that protects kids and lets American business continue and prosper.


Richard Woldenberg
Learning Resources, Inc.

January 7, 2009

Application Of Lead-Testing Requirements To Books Threatens
Removal Of Children's Books From Classrooms, Schools & Libraries

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), enacted in August
of last year, imposes stringent requirements for lead-content testing
of toys and other children's products. Beginning February 10, any
children's product found to contain more than the new limits on lead
content as a result of such testing will be treated as a banned
hazardous substance under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

Although paper-based books are not "regulated products" within the
jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and have no
history of presenting toxic risks to children due to lead content, the
Commission's Office of General Counsel, responding two weeks ago to a
request for an advisory opinion by the Association of American
Publishers and allied industries on the limited application of CPSIA
testing requirements to such books, has opined that "a book intended
or designed primarily for children would need to meet" the new lead
content limits and thus must be tested to determine whether they are
safe for children's use.

The advisory opinion reached this conclusion despite the Association
of American Publishers' efforts to distinguish actual, paper-based
books from plastic children's toys in the shape or form of books that
are intended to be played with or serve as teething devices for young
children, and despite a broad showing of actual test results
demonstrating that the ink, paper, paperboard, adhesive and binding
components of actual paper-based books do not present a risk of lead
toxicity to children.

If the CPSIA is applied to paper-based books, as indicated in the
advisory opinion of the CPSC General Counsel, children's book
publishers, manufacturers and distributors will be confronted with
several nightmarish scenarios. All existing paper-based children's
books such as The Cat in the Hat, Goodnight Moon and Harry Potter as
well as thousands of textbook titles—tens of millions of
books—currently on the shelves of our nation's classrooms, public and
school libraries, bookstores and in warehouses may simply be removed
and destroyed because they cannot feasibly be tested to assure
compliance with these unfounded toxicity concerns. All new
paper-based books—not plastic toys in the shape of books—will be
needlessly subjected to expensive and time-consuming testing that will
overwhelm the few laboratories accredited for testing of actual
children's toys and other children's products potentially presenting
real threats of lead toxicity. These scenarios will have severe
adverse effects on our children's education.


Call the representatives listed below and explain to them that this is
an urgent issue with potentially dire consequences, and request that
paper-based children's books be given an immediate exemption from this

Ordinary paper-based children's books have no history of posing a lead
threat to children.
Despite this, there is no way to assure book retailers that current
titles are actually in compliance. This is already triggering a
crushing and wholly unnecessary rejection of children's books by
stores and distributors.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has the power to exempt
categories from the scope of the CPSIA, and should exempt ordinary
paper-based children's books.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi Senator Daniel Inouye
Washington, DC Office (202) 225-4965 Washington, DC
Office (202) 224-3934
San Francisco, CA (415) 556-4862
Honolulu, HI (808) 541-2542

Representative Henry Waxman Senator Chuck Schumer
Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Washington, DC
Office (202) 224-6542
Washington, DC Office (202) 225-3976 New York City
(212) 486-4430
Los Angeles (323) 651-1040

Senator Jay Rockefeller
Washington, DC Office (202) 224-6472
Charleston, WV (304) 347-5372

1 comment:

Juvie said...

I sell children's books, and last week received a letter from a major publisher stating that paper and ink books did not fall under the purview of the CPSIA. I had to tell the company that in fact they do, and to please cancel all of my pending orders until such time as they can verify compliance. This is a disaster on a million levels!