I keep telling myself this is a nightmare and I'll wake up soon.
Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), products for children age 12 and under that contain lead cannot be distributed in the USA (sold, loaned, given - shared in any way). Books printed before 1985 may contain lead in the ink. Therefore, those books must be destroyed. Even libraries may have to comply (the Consumer Protection Agency has asked libraries to remove the books from circulation until the final ruling on libraries next year).
I am not making this up.
Read the Article in The New Atlantis. Or go to
Overlawyered and follow the progress of the Act.
Or just Google: children's books prior to 1985 lead ink.
The Act passed in August 2008 and went into effect in February this year. How could it have flown under the radar for so long? Why didn't I see an alert in the county library newsletter? in Willamette Week? the Oregonian? from Powell's? From my publisher or writer friends? Did Wordstock put people up in arms about this?
I think about the books I read and loved as a child; they helped shape my values, my character, my sense of humor... Many are probably still in print, but even so - to think that every copy printed before 1985 will be removed from bookshelves, tossed in a dumpster... and that this has already been going on for months... And what about those that are no longer in print?
Write your members of Congress. Donate to organizations that are fighting this.