Carol Baicker-McKee points out that it has been reported in Publishers Weekly that recycled paper may contain lead and phthalates - darn, there goes paper recycling, too! In an April 2 article entitled "Children’s Publishers Address CPSIA Testing and Labeling Provisions", Publishers Weekly sets the record straight:
"The Consumer Product Safety Commission has said it will not enforce the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act when it comes to “ordinary” books printed after 1985 . . . [but] for publishers of novelty and book-plus formats—which account for a significant chunk of sales, especially in mass-market and special-market channels—the CPSIA will remain in full force, with all of its costly testing, certification and labeling requirements. . . . Several publishers said they test all of their titles, not just novelty books but also ink-on-paper formats. Most books came through the testing with flying colors, but there were a few incidences reported in which titles did not make the grade. With the increasing interest in all things “green,” it’s interesting to note that books made of recycled materials are more likely to contain some lead or phthalates and therefore less likely to make it through the testing process." [Emphasis added]
Yes, that's right - recycled paper might have lead or phthalates in it! Ouch, can't use that in children's products - for packaging, for guides and instruction manuals, or in books. Oh well, we have very large dumps available for our refuse! [See here for the benefits of paper recycling.] Btw, lead and phthalates are found in recycled paper because of inevitable contaminants like staples, binding materials, foil, whathaveyou. It's all thrown together, heated, churned, swished around, etc., before being sifted apart. Some contaminants remain. Is that really surprising?
Imagine if Congress wrote laws after they thought about what they were doing! What a wonderful world that might be . . . . Right now, I call on the CPSC to step forward and do the right thing - ban all recycled materials or components used in children's products - WAY too dangerous for our new America. We need all new everything, it's a modern stimulus package.