Sunday, February 15, 2009

CPSIA of 2008 - The Lead Law Part 4

I have been digging around some more to see what is happening with the lead law. I discovered that only four people voted against the bill: Congressman Ron Paul and senators Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, and Jon Kyl. These four are the only ones in Congress who voted against this atrocity. I am pleased that my own senator, Tom Coburn, is one of them.

Courtesy of this opinion piece written by Walter Olson, I now know why it is okay to sell books printed after 1985. That was the year that it became illegal to use lead pigments in the inks used in books. From the same article, this point is made:
This doesn’t mean that the books pose any hazard to children. While lead poisoning from other sources, such as paint in old houses, remains a serious public health problem in some communities, no one seems to have been able to produce a single instance in which an American child has been made ill by the lead in old book illustrations—not surprisingly, since unlike poorly maintained wall paint, book pigments do not tend to flake off in large lead-laden chips for toddlers to put into their mouths.
Children do not eat books, as a general rule, so books do not pose a threat. I feel like if a child is in fact eating books, he or she has more serious immediate issues than the future possibility of lead poisoning.

Walter Olson also writes:
Jacobsen also worries that any temporary forbearance on the part of the CPSC, which has said that it does not plan a reseller crackdown any time soon in the absence of evidence of risk, could be abrogated without notice in the future. For one thing, new commissioners appointed by the Obama administration are expected to show less sympathy in regulating business than the current commission. In addition, the 50 state attorneys general have been empowered to enforce the law on their own, and frequently take much more aggressive legal positions than those of the federal government, sometimes teaming with private lawyers who capture a share of fines imposed.
We do need to be very concerned about what the future holds. This law is a distinct threat to all people who value old children's items, and we could lose what we cherish if this law is not changed.

Libraries have a problem, since according to Olson "the law bans the 'distribution' of forbidden items, whether or not for profit. In addition, most libraries regularly raise money through book sales, and will now need to consider excluding older children’s titles from those sales. One CPSC commissioner, Thomas Moore, has already called for libraries to 'sequester' some undefinedly large fraction of pre-1985 books until more is known about their risks."

Isn't this an utter violation of our freedom? I cannot stomach any more of this right now, so this is the end of this installment. I will keep blogging about this issue, because the more of us who get involved spreading the word, the more likely the mainstream press will finally notice.

1 comment:

Lisa K said...

I agree that it is a violation of our freedom.

It doesn't make sense that people can publish and sell porn magazines, while we can't sell pre-1985 children's books?! That certainly gets a big WTF from me.

Also, how did the senior citizens of today survive if they were exposed to all that lead from reading? That also doesn't make sense.

I feel so helpless. I wish there was something I could do to help change this law.