You have to love the goverment. Leave it to them to draft an all-encompassing law that could have disasterous effects on the publishing industry and any industry supplying children's products. In case you hadn't heard, our wonderful president--at least for today--signed into law last year the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This law requires strict testing of all products intended for children 12 and under, including books whose components are way below the standard anyway.
Now, in theory, this sounds like a good thing, but it is going to have a huge impact on any industry that manufactures and supplies children's products. February 10th is being called National Bankruptcy Day because many retailers and small businesses are concerned about the impact of this law on their business. I know the publishing industry has been up in arms about it and writing lawmakers all over the place to try and get the Act reworded before it becomes effective on February 10th. The lead content used in printing materials for books is less than the standard safety amount, so why are books included?
Since the law is retroactive, it will also impact current products on the shelf and in libraries and schools. They are even saying you might not be able to resell any children's product unless it has been tested first; so tag salers won't be getting children's products from a yard sale or possibly off eBay either. You might not even be able to donate children's book to your local library anymore.
If you want to know more about CPSIA, you can go to http://www.cpsc.gov/ABOUT/Cpsia/cpsia.HTML which will give you a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Plug CPSIA into Google and you'll get a bunch of hits. This article from ZRecommends--a parenting site that reviews and recommends children's products--makes some predictions about the impact of this law: http://www.zrecommends.com/detail/ten-predictions-for-the-cpsias-affect-on-childrens-products-in-2009/
I have the names and addresses of lawmakers to contact if you would like to write them. There is hope that there will be some revisions and clarifications to this law before it goes into effect on February 10th.
Sorry to make this sound so political, but I figured our Prairie Parents should hear about this and how it might impact the choices you'll have for children's products in the future.