File this one under idiocy. Of all the stupid knee-jerk reactions this one finds it at the top of the pile for me this week.
In august 2008, amid a public rightfully concerned about lead found in some toys and other child related products imported from China, did the right thing and enacted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The act covers all play items, not just toys, intended for consumers 12 and under and regardless of where they manufactured. Judging at face value this seems fine. However, once you realize that books and audiobooks fall into this category and no special exemptions have been made things starts to unravel.
Books are simply not a lead issue. Yet they are included in the sweeping act and has left the children’s book industry trying to figure out how the act applies to them and how to comply before the February 10’th deadline. The implications and costs for a struggling industry and even our personal lives (think about books being pulled from libraries and schools) are staggering.
No one, the children’s book publishing industry included, disagrees with the need to have stiff legislation to protect our children. But this shortsighted and poorly thought through act is threatening to shackle an industry and bring it to its knees.
For more details see this excellent article at Publishers Weekly Industry Scrambling to Comply with Child Safety Act
[Photo provided courtesy of equality at everytsockphoto.com]