Thursday, January 8, 2009

Banned Children Items

My sister-in-law, Teresa, has been posting about this on her blog and I felt this was so important that I needed to share this with all of you:

"Is the Government serious? I'm all for keeping our kids safe, but really, is this necessary? Come Feb. 10th, all used childrens products will need to be lead and phthalates tested -- which is expensive and will put many children consignment stores out of business! Yes, this is clothing and toys, etc for children under 12. Oh, and this includes yard sales, e-bay, Craigs list, etc. You have to read this article to believe it from the LA Times. I clothes shop for 5 kids and love the consignment stores. Well, there goes my clothing budget. Sorry, just had to vent!!! (Note to our RS Enrichment Counselor, Patrice: A children's clothing swap may be a good idea to add to the list of activites for this year.)"

More Info. on Banned Children's Items...

The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned
By Heather Idoni


Oh, how I wish this were a joke! But it is a grim and looming, almost Orwellian, reality.

Effective February 10th, in the United States, the sale of all children's books (books intended for children ages 12 and under) is to be PROHIBITED. Every single book printed prior to the ruling is affected, whether new or used. New books in production are required to include a "lead-free" certification and will be the only books that are legal to offer for sale.

What does this mean to your family?

Well, for one, curriculum fairs across the country will be cancelled as book vendors scramble to figure out how to comply with the new ruling. Complete book inventories will have to be destroyed -- the ruling even prohibits giving away the books! Local thrift stores will be hard hit -- most will likely have to close their doors -- yes, even Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Clothing, toys and books -- even CDs and DVDs are included in the ruling. Thrift stores will no longer be able to accept or process anything (including clothing) that would be intended for a child.

No more library sales. Libraries will not be permitted to give away or sell book donations. It is unsure yet, however, how the libraries' shelves themselves will be impacted (the ruling doesn't explicitly mention "loaning" books, just selling or giving them away). The key word, however, is "distribution" -- libraries may well be required to destroy books from their shelves.

(The ruling that originally passed was about toys, but the EPA has since made a statement that clothing, books and media are included in "children's toys".)

Just how serious is this new law? has already notified all vendors of their need to comply. No book can be sold at the Amazon site that was printed prior to compliance. And the "compliance" must be coordinated at the manufacturing stage. At the time of this article there is no clause to be able to grandfather-in older books or even rare out-of-print books. It can cost between $500 and $1500 to test a book for lead.

I happen to own a children's bookstore specializing in living books from the 1950s and '60s. My punishment for selling a book after February 10th? Up to $100,000 and 5 years in jail. And yes, it is a felony charge. For selling a SINGLE book.

(Although I don't think the S.W.A.T. team scenario would become a reality overnight, at the same time I would be leery of blatantly violating Federal law.)

So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that sells children's books? Or that homeschool curriculum business? Or your EBay business selling children's items?

ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines:

1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at 888-531-9070.

Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009. Or email:

2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact information, just enter your zip code.

3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.

4) Sign the petition.

5) Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same.


Leslie said...

Isn't that the most ridiculous thing ever? You know I'm all about used clothing and toys and yard sales. With all the problems in the world, the underfunding of the school system, healthcare issues, child predators that seem to be rampant, etc. etc. etc.... this just doesn't seem to be something the government needs to focus time and resources on. As a parent, I make that my responsibity to make sure my kids aren't harmed by the used products I buy.

Teresa said...

It's crazy the way the media IS NOT talking about this. It's all over the net if you google it, but forget the newspapers and television. Glenn Beck finally talked about it on his radio show today. Maybe word will slowly get out and something can get done about this stupid law!