Testing Childrens Books for Lead and Phthalates – CPSIA Upends Industry

139391_a_boy_a_girl_and_a_bookThe Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is punishing the children’s publishing industry. Go over to Publishers Weekly to read their summary of the disruption caused by the mandate that all products targeted at children under 12 be tested for lead and phthalates.

The law was passed in response to issues with Chinese toys – but it was written in such a broad fashion that it is sweeping into its net products that have never included lead or plastics (like paper and cardboard).

The problem is that the industry just found out in November that it applies to books and they have to be in compliance by February. Violations carry stiff fines which could bury small publishers.

No one – and I mean no one – is suggesting that we ship unsafe products to children. But the way this was implemented makes no sense. We should be targeting it at products that have the potential to contain lead. Otherwise it is nothing but an earmark for the lawyers and the industry that performs these tests. As always – follow the money.


Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act – Official site of the CPSC
CPSIA- Central – Blog that tracks all things CPSIA
ALA Wiki on CPSIA – American Library Association’s Wiki that tracks CPSIA related issues
AAP Twitter Feed – Some updates as available on Twitter at acaciaO. Hash tag #cpsia