Saturday, February 14, 2009

CPSIA of 2008 - The Lead Law Part 3

The CPSC has issued some guidelines for how it is interpreting the lead law. This page contains those guidelines. The relevant information for us is in Question 17:
Question 17: Can I sell vintage children’s books and other children’s products that are collectibles?

Yes. Used vintage children’s books and other children’s products sold as collector’s items would not be primarily intended for children. Because of their value and age, they would not be expected to be used by children. Therefore, they do not fall into the definition of children’s product and do not need to comply with the lead limits.
While the CPSC will not fine people for selling used collectible vintage children's books, the bottom line is this: The lead law bans the sale of all vintage children's items unless it can be proved that those items do not contain lead. The law has not been rewritten. It is still illegal to sell vintage children's items and will be illegal until Congress actually decides to rewrite this law.

Overlawyered has an article examining this topic:

CPSIA: What will be enforced?

As with other articles I have posted, please make sure you read it. I am providing only one excerpt here:
In short, the CPSIA is purposely drafted to place many advantages in the hands of consumer groups or other litigants who might wish to challenge an exemption in court. Since the CPSC cannot be sure of having the last word — its attempt to carve out an exemption for pre-Feb. 10 phthalate inventories was just struck down — it would be incautious for producers or retailers to rely overmuch on its policy pronouncements, especially since, while it obviously has some discretion over its own enforcement efforts, it cannot prevent others (like state attorneys general) from bringing their own actions.
We do still need to be concerned, especially because of what is now happening. Overlawyered also has a great article summarizing what has transpired since Tuesday.

Thrift stores, the day after

As already reported by a reader of this blog, some thrift stores have decided that they cannot continue to sell children's items. These stores are either placing the children's items in storage or destroying them. There are now quite a few reports of thrift stores throwing children's items in the dumpster or selling them to salvage companies. Since thrift stores tend to be nonprofit organizations, they do not want to risk any liability. They would rather throw away the donations than take any risk.

Now is not a good time to donate your extra children's books to thrift stores. I have some books that I do not want to sell, but I am going to keep them for now. I do not want them to end up in the landfill. Now that it is the weekend, I need to venture forth to see whether my local thrift stores still have children's items for sale.

No comments: