CPSIA Perpetuating Paranoia Since 2008

I had planned a shorter and funnier post but someone sent me a link to this article and now I'm mad.

A couple of months ago I wrote about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and how it could seriously limit children's access to books. Many other people have written about it. It impacts Etsy, thrift stores, and yes, libraries. For the purpose of this discussion lets focus on libraries and books.

In a nut shell, if it was printed before 1986 it needs to be tested, trashed or kept away from children. Because OMG IT COULD HAVE LEAD! And the children! OMG they could gnaw on the book and get lead poisoning and the world will explode. The end.

Why yes, I am being snarky. And no, I don't hate children. The books they are essentially banning are the same books that you and I read as children. They are the same books that we would have gnawed on. Since I don't know anyone who got lead poisoning it leads me only to one conclusion.

There has been a mass government conspiracy. They've obviously been conducting a massive cover up. You see, they didn't want us to know about all the lead poisoning so they've been oblivating our memories and hiding all the children. Dumbledore was totally in on it.

Oops, was my snark showing again?

The CPSIA was given a one year reprieve of sorts. I think many of us, probably naively, assumed that this was the first nail in the CPSIA's coffin. We went a bit quieter.  We were waiting to see what would happen.

We went too quiet and if we continue to be quiet we will find thousands and thousands of books being removed from libraries because there is no way they can afford to test them all or to replace them with post-1986 publications (if post-1986 publications of those titles even exist).

I am Canadian. I can't do jack about it, except perhaps scoop up every pre-1986 children's book I can get my hands on. That Green Eggs and Ham from your childood. The hardcover Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew's. Mr Popper's Penguins. Peachtree Island. The Campfire Girls. The Adventure Boys. The Little Golden Books.

But if you are American you do have options. You can write your elected officials. You can protest. You can take photos of empty library shelves. You can do something.

Rest assured, if Canadian politicians ever try this here I'll round up every parent, child, teacher, librarian, bookseller, thrift shop owner I can find and flood Parliament Hill for a massive read-in.

Because books are not poison and government-sponsored paranoia saying otherwise really pisses me off.