Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Information On The New Lead Test Law.

Terry Nathan, executive director of the Independent Book Publisher's Association, sent a letter to IBPA members regarding the Lead Test Law. Here is a portion of that letter:

Information about the Consumer Product Safety Inspection Act continues to roll in, and the outcome is anything but clear. One thing that does seem clear is that this Act applies only to books manufactured after February 10, 2009.

I encourage you to 1) contact your printer for input on this issue, and 2) contact your representatives in Washington, DC to voice your concerns. I am including a list of representatives below.

We have been reaching out to our colleagues in various key segments of the industry for information and are continuing to monitor this issue on a daily basis. We will keep you updated..

This is one of the reasons I encourage everyone who starts a small press to join IBPA. Not only do they provide resources and information, they do a lot of advocacy on our behalf.

He also provided links to articles with more information about the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the official name of the Lead Test Law. Here are those articles:

From Bookselling This Week: (excerpt) CPSIA -- which was signed into law on August 14, 2008, in response to last year's recalls of products containing lead -- limits the amount of lead in children's products to 600 parts-per-million (ppm) as of February 10, and 300 ppm as of August 2009. In August 2011, the limit will drop to 100 ppm if it is considered technologically feasible for a given product or product category. The law requires manufacturers of children's products for children up to age 12, including books, to make accessible to retailers a Certificate of Conformity (COC) stating that their products have been tested by an independent third party and comply with lead limits stipulated in CPSIA.

From Publisher's Weekly: (excerpt) The children’s book industry continues to intensify its efforts to push for an exemption from the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act. The Act, which goes into effect February 10, requires all products for children 12 and under—including books—to be tested for lead, as noted in Publishers Weekly’s recent detailed coverage of the CPSIA and its implications.

The Association of American Publishers is taking the lead in formal lobbying, but other groups are playing an increasing role. The Children’s Book Council, for example, is developing talking points and scripts that publishers can circulate to help employees petition their Senate and House representatives. “There’s been a real flurry of activity in the last couple of weeks,” says Robin Adelson, CBC’s executive director. “People are making phone calls and people are sending e-mails. They’re heeding the call to action.”

And from The Small Publisher's Association: (excerpt) The Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 (CPSIA) requires items sold for children, manufactured after February 10, be tested and certified for lead levels by an independent lab.

A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) letter, dated December 23, 2008, affirmed children's books are included in the lead testing requirement.

Products in inventory (in storage and on bookstore shelves) do not need to be tested, but retailers can be fined if the products are found to have excessive levels of lead.

Testing and certification takes place at the book printer level. Publishers need to check with their printer if they have books in the printing process.

Click the above links for the full articles.

If you'd like to take a look at the law itself, click this link for the PDF.

Also, contact your Congressperson and ask them to take another look at the part of the law that affects children's books. Thank you Terry Nathan for this list of people and phone numbers:

1. Sen. Chuck Schumer, NY - -represents most publishers. 202-224-6542.
2. Sen. Diane Feinstein, who has been influential on the issue 202-224-3841.
3. Sen. John Rockefeller, who will soon oversee the committee of jurisdiction, 202-
4. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who will also oversee committee of jurisdiction 202-224-3934.
5. Cong. Henry Waxman, the new chair of the House Committee of jurisdiction 202-225-
6. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, 202-225-0100.


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