New federal law (U.S.) bans children’s books printed before 1985

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I just learned something I thought you all might like to know (at least the Americans):

The full article is here, amongst many other places.

Some quotes:

“Until 1985, it was legal for trace amounts of lead to be used in the inks and paints used in children’s books. But the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (PDF), which went into effect February 10, bans the sale of any children’s products containing more than 600 parts per million (ppm) total lead, no matter how unlikely it is that the items will feature at a toddler buffet. The Consumer Products Safety Commission has “clarified” the issue with contradictory guidance that has thrift stores and even libraries disposing of mountains of books published before the magic date — and hoping that a stray copy of The Wind in the Willows doesn’t bring down the wrath of the regulators.”

“Aware of public concerns over a law that effectively bans millions of books, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued guidance intended to reassure he public. As is usually the case with bureaucracies, however, the “clarification” at best delayed the day of reckoning by a year, and also sowed confusion.”

“The result is that many second-hand bookstores and thrift shops across the country are dumping older books — or else holding their breath and hoping for the best. That’s a shame not just because of the cost and waste, but because many parents and educators find that older books were written at a higher level of literacy than modern books, and so make special efforts to seek them out.”

I suggest you read the whole piece for all the info.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.