Thursday, 29 January 2009

Only in America?

On February 10th a new law comes into effect in America called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Now with a name like that I am sure you are thinking what on earth can one find to complain about? Well, the consequences of this law would seem to imply that either children will be banned from entering libraries or millions of children's books will have to be destroyed.
This law requires that all products for children under 12, including books, games, toys and clothing, must be tested for the presence of lead. It is estimated that the testing required for a book would cost between $300 and $600. Presumably, for a new book, this cost would be borne by the publisher but what about all the existing books in the libraries? The American Libraries Association says that they cannot afford to test every book and that, as a consequence, millions of books would have to be taken off the shelves and destroyed in order that children will be able to enter a library.
My question is "How many children have suffered from the lead content of books, games, toys and clothing? Is this a problem that needs fixing?" My thoughts are how long before the EU enacts something similar. See here for the story.

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