Publishers and marketers of most children s books are finally being spared the headache that the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) caused U.S. manufacturers of children s products. The act mandates that these manufacturers ensure at their own expense that the levels of lead in their children s products not exceed 0.03 percent; small businesses in particular were adversely effected. This July, a ruling that limited the acceptable level to a hyper-precautionary 0.01 percent only further increased the burden. Now, Congress has passed an amendment to the CSPIA that exempts most children s books, as well as a few other classes of products, from the law s stringent testing provisions. The amendment maintains that manufacturers are required to keep their books lead-free, but they will no longer have to undergo certification the component of CSPIA that has been most costly, and thus burdensome, for small businesses.
This is indeed a relief for booksellers and librarians not to mention for children, who won t have to do without the bookstores and libraries this law would have put out of business, says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. Nevertheless, CPSIA is still onerous and still benefits no one. It really has nothing to do with improving anyone s health.