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Consumer Product Safety Commission releases Report to Congress on CPSIA

On Friday the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released its Report to Congress regarding difficulties encountered with enforcing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

The report notes that used books have emerged as a particular problem due to the retroactive nature of the law, adding that the retroactive applicability of the lead limits creates problems for libraries.

Additionally, the report reaffirms the Commission’s belief that Congress did not intend to impose the strict lead ban — as imposed by section 101(a) of CPSIA — for ordinary books. However, the report states that the CPSC does not have the flexibility needed to grant an exclusion for ordinary books.  “In order to address this issue, Congress may, with some limitations, choose to consider granting an exclusion for ordinary children’s books and other children’s paper-based printed materials,” the report states.

In August, the CPSC confirmed that libraries have no independent obligation to test library books for lead under the law.

As we await Congress’ response to the CPSC’s report, the ALA Washington Office will determine the strongest course of action for our grassroots lobbying efforts and inform membership through action alerts via the ALA Legislative Action Center and also through updates on the District Dispatch.

For additional questions, contact Jessica McGilvray, assistant director for the ALA Office of Government Relations, at or 1-800-941-8478.

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