Friday, May 7, 2010

CPSIA - Publishers HOWL Over Inadequate Waxman Amendment

As rumors swirl over the demise of the Waxman Amendment (CPSEA) over Mr. Waxman's stubborn refusal to fix the CPSIA, the Publishing industry is bemoaning their fate under the awful CPSIA. Stand in line, baby!

In an article in Publishers Weekly online, the publishers noted that last week's hearing did not "address the needs of the book publishing industry, which argues that it should be exempted since virtually no 'ordinary' children’s books contain lead above the limits outlined in the CPSIA." Hmmm. Apparently, the publishers don't have much of a sense of humor about the burden of being swept up in new safety rules that will accomplish nothing:

“'We don’t see the sense of hundreds of thousands of books clogging the queues at the independent third-party testing facilities, only to be found safe, at a great burden of cost to publishers,' said Allan Adler, v-p for legal and government affairs at the Association of American Publishers. . . . Adler noted that the current stay of enforcement expires in February 2011 and the publishing industry needs a solution before then. 'We have our eye on the calendar.' No matter what happens with “ordinary” children’s books, novelty and book-plus titles (such as those with plastic incorporated or toys attached) will still be subject to the CPSIA’s testing and other requirements." [Emphasis added]

Eyes on the calendar . . . wow, the publishers really seemed pissed off. I wonder why.

Well, since you asked, here is the data for all book recalls in the last 11 years:
  • Choking recalls: 8 recalls, 1 injury, no deaths
  • Lead recalls: 2 recalls, no injuries, no deaths
  • Lead-in-paint: 3 recalls, no injuries, no deaths
  • Strangulation: 1 recall, no injuries, no deaths

Obviously a very dangerous category of products - books produced one injury in 11 years. The "injury" was that a child "began to choke". Oh the horror of it all.

Think of the quality of our government - the book guys have been begging, literally BEGGING, for relief for almost two years now and the Dem-led Congress has utterly refused to act. The most the CPSC could do for them was to announce that books printed after 1985 were lead-free. Everybody, toss out your copy of "1984". The government says so!

Let's dig a bit deeper into the five recalls associated with lead. I am sure these injury-free lead recalls over the last 11 years will clarify how at risk we are:

  1. Parragon, Inc.: This recall for lead featured lead solder on a jewelry charm. Oooo, that's scary.
  2. St. Martin's Press LLC: This recall of cloth books featured a "red plastic dot" that contained high levels of lead. I assume this "dot" was made of vinyl and was not in fact coated. One might ask how this might cause lead poisoning. This recall was a head scratcher for many people after it occurred.
  3. Martin Designs, Inc.: This recall involved lead paint on the spiral binding of a book.
  4. eeBoo Corp.: This recall involved lead paint on the spiral binding of a book.
  5. Galison/Mudpuppy: This recall involved lead paint on the spiral binding of a book.

Please note that the lead-in-paint violations were ALSO violations of prior law. Lead-in-paint has been illegal for decades on children's products.

Can anyone identify the dreaded danger posed by books? As I said long ago in this space, I always thought it was the words that were dangerous in a book. Certainly that's what seems to be dangerous in a blog . . . .

And perhaps someone from the CPSC (I know you are reading this, I can see you!) could leave a comment here admitting how many man-hours have been spent (wasted) on the book issue under the CPSIA. I bet it's nothing short of 500 man-hours, and would not be surprised if it's more than a full man-year.

And remember, when the CPSC devotes all its resources to counting angels dancing on the head of a pin, they have very little time to find dangerous products (no, I mean ACTUALLY dangerous products). Feeling safer yet? [You shouldn't.]

Too bad, book people. You are a "necessary sacrifice" to the greater cause of making children so, so, SOOOOO safe.


Anonymous said...

It is surprising that they were left out. I still wonder at how the ATV industry is getting so much hand holding on this? They must have very good lobbyists.

I'm glad they are getting relief of course because it is ridiculous, but it is pretty much all ridiculous, the law that is, not the idea.

Ms. Weintraub likes to state that consumers want lead free kids products. Of course they do, but I bet if you asked most of them if they agreed with the way this law has been implemented they would say "no we do not want this law, this way". I'm a betting woman and I'd wager a good amount on this bet.

smower5 said...

I don't get it, does the CPSC members have their head in the sand? Will they not stop this nonsense until they cripple thousands of businesses with ludicrous requirements? If more of the American public were aware of the impact of the CPSIA, they would be outraged at the loss of jobs (as is we need more of that) there will be! Wake up Waxman, is this really what America needs, kick them while they're down!! Are you even American? I don't own a business, I just work for one that will be greatly affected, even though we do not produce "dangerous" products for children. Speak up AMERICA!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Woldenburg, thank you for speaking up again and again even when it must seem like a thankless and lonely job!!! This whole mess is making us a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.

Wake up, Mr. Waxman and cronies!! Wake up before it's TOO LATE.