Those of us in the book business have been following the CPSC's position on CPSIA and books for a couple of months now, but today's Associated Press article on CPSIA and Libraries make it sound like it's new news to them.
This is the second article that I've read recently that uses this basic line in the middle of it: "Lead poisoning has been linked to irreversible learning disabilities and behavioral problems." In both articles, the comment is made in the midst of the article -- with no explanation. The statement is true, as far as it goes, but I would contend that it is inaccurate when taken out of context like this! Yes, lead poisoning has been linked to all sorts of problems. But fortunately, most of the things being taken off the market by CPSIA have not been linked to lead poisoning.
In fact, the CDC has been dealing with lead poisoning almost 20 years longer than the CPSC. And a health communications specialist at the CDC said lead-based ink in children's books poses little danger. She is quoted in the article as saying, "But on a scale of one to 10, this is like a 0.5 level of concern." Frankly, with their two track records, I take the CDC's word for that over the CPSC!
I would also think that Librarians would be good sources of information about what libraries are going through with their books. But the Houston librarian quoted in this article seems to think banning children's books printed before 1986 is no big deal: "Frankly, most of our books have been well-used and well-appreciated...They don't last 24 years." Maybe children in Texas are harder on their library books than they are here in Alabama...We find children's books in ours that were printed before 1986 on a regular basis -- in fact I bought 40 library books from a library not so long ago -- all more than 30 years old, and all in very good condition.
It is good to see books and CPSIA being addressed for a change -- now let's hope Congress will actually start listening to all the fuss sooner rather than later!