Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A Collection of Books
On January 31, I blogged about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), due to become law on February 10, 2009. Congress subsequently postponed enactment until February 10, 2010. This legislation would have mandated testing of "all products intended primarily for children under 12," including books, to determine lead content.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has introduced an amendment to CPSIA, exempting "ordinary children's books" from the requirement, regardless of their publication date. He cites data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "that there is little risk to children from lead in ordinary books."
Previous proposals required tests for materials produced prior to 1985. For all practical purposes, this would have resulted in wholesale discarding of an enormous number of titles. School and public library collections for younger readers would have been decimated.
American Library Association President Jim Rettig stated in a press release that "Rep. Fortenberry’s bill corrects the CPSC’s misinterpretation that would deny our children access to books and limit their opportunities to learn."
"After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books." -Thomas Carlyle
"A room without books is like a body without a soul." -Cicero
"I cannot live without books." -Thomas Jefferson