Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book Banning, through Consumer Safety Act.

This is from notes from the latest CURE meeting

The Consumer Product Safety Commission had issued a requirement which, among other things, curtailed the sale of children’s toys and books that do not meet the safety standards for phthalates. (Phthalates are chemicals mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility), although they are used in other products as well.) Children’s products also had to meet stricter lead content standards. Children are defined as being 12 years of age or younger. (Collector’s items, clearly not meant for children, were exempt.)

The regulation:

This would seriously affect sellers of old toys and children’s books. Apparently, children’s books printed before the early 1980s contained some lead. This safety requirement would effectively ban all children’s books printed before the early 1980s.

As we all know, children’s books written before the 1970s or so, often don’t meet today’s standards of political correctness. Sometimes the older books had religious or patriotic references. In the newer books, if there are any references to religion or patriotism, they are often negative.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has granted a grace period. According a February 3, 2009 memo of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA),
“the Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to delay enforcing a portion of new safety requirements regarding certain products for children 12 and under. Specifically, the agency decided to wait a year before requiring manufacturers and importers to test and certify any children's products that would have been mandated for testing on February 10. Overall safety standards remain in place and still apply even to small retailers and vendors of second-hand items.

The delay:

“Manufacturers of children's products will still need to be sure that they are conforming to the safety standards on leads and phthalates in products. However, they will be given an extra year of limited relief from the requirement for testing and certification (lasting till February 10, 2010)……..

“…..HSLDA will continue to go ahead with meetings with the CPSC Commissioners to discuss our concerns with the regulations. We will additionally push for legislation to permanently protect small family businesses, such as Senator Jim DeMint's proposed legislation. “

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