I first heard about the CPSIA Act in December when an eBay jewelry friend e-mailed me asking what I knew about it. My reply, "Nothing." December is always busy so I didn't read more about it then. In January another eBay jewelry friend e-mailed me about it so I did more looking. I got a little nervous, given the fact that it is in regards to lead in products intended for children, and yah, I've got a little business making children's jewelry. About half of what I sell is banned as of February 10th, anything with crystal on it (lead is part of all we like about crystal).
But enough about me. What is really chapping my hide is how this silly thing is affecting books. My kids don't regularly chew on books, and I've never heard of anyone getting lead poisoning from a book, but guess what? Books are included under the act. I can't even think straight over this, so just read more about it here at the BookRoomBlog.
For those that don't want to go read that blog, the basic gist is that books older than 1985 cannot be resold. So used bookstores are throwing them away, because what else are they supposed to do with them?
One of the quotes posted on that blog mentions that the government is trying to destroy history. I don't know if I could go that far, but I love older children's books because they have real home-grown values. Kids being taught honesty, hard work, love, virtue, and kindness.
Did you know there are book burning memorials? There are.
This one in Berlin is the site of the May 10, 1933 Nazi book burning. It is a translucent panel showing empty bookshelves below ground level. There are enough empty shelves to hold all the books that were burned. Nearby in Heinrich Heine's words it says, "Where books are burned, in the end people will burn."
So far libraries are exempt (probably an oversight), and I know there are lead-free reprints, but really, just go read these for my sake:
"Big Sister, Little Sister" by Charlotte Zolotow
"Big Brother" by Charlotte Zolotow
"Pelle's New Suit" by Elsa Beskow
"Pumpkin Moonshine" by Tasha Tudor
"The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes" by Dubose Heyward
Pass on your old favorites so I can make sure I get to those too.
Even if you haven't heard of these, there are plenty of others you have, like the Beatrice Potter books and even the first Arthur books by Marc Brown.
BookRoomBlog also has other information, including a post on who to contact about this.
I wonder what the true intention of this straitjacket is. Seriously, I would like to see the cases of kids getting lead poisoning from buttoning their coats, zipping their zippers, and eating their books. We're all about protecting the individual, but at what cost?
More on this from Semicolon, here, here, and here.
As Marcellus puts it in Hamlet, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."