Publishers Applaud House Vote to Exclude
Ordinary Children’s Books and Printed Materials
From Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Monday, 01 August 2011 |

Washington, D.C.; August 1, 2011 - The Association of American Publishers, the industry’s national trade organization, applauds the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade for leading today’s overwhelming 421-2 vote to exclude ordinary children’s reading books and children’s paper-based printed reading and learning materials from the lead-content third-party testing requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

H.R. 2715 was introduced today by Subcommittee Chair Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Ranking Member G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) with the support of full Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA). It was considered under a suspension of the rules.

“Today’s vote finally begins to resolve a problem that has vexed the Consumer Product Safety Commission since CPSIA was enacted in 2008: the inadvertent inclusion of ordinary books and similar materials in its all-inclusive definition of ‘children’s products’ requiring testing for exposure to lead,” said Allan Adler, Vice President for Legal and Government Affairs, AAP.

“Children’s books, which are vital to literacy and educational development, have never been associated with lead exposure concerns yet were swept into this legislation at the outset. We appreciate the House’s decision and we look forward to the involvement of the Senate leaders on CPSIA issues so that these learning tools are finally effectively separated from the broader scope of products that do require testing.”

Following news reports of toys from China containing dangerous levels of toxic lead, CPSIA was enacted to impose stringent requirements for lead-content testing and certification standards of all toys and children’s products, including retroactively. Despite no history or reports of harmful exposure to lead and no previous Commission regulation, traditional reading books and similar materials for children such as posters, bookmarks and flashcards were swept into this overarching definition.

Since 2008, AAP has led a coalition of U.S. children’s book publishers, printers, manufacturers and their suppliers that has worked with the CPSC on these issues. More information about AAP’s position on CPSIA and its efforts are at http://publishers.org/issues/1/18/

Contact: Andi Sporkin