New federal law bans children's books printed before 1985

**New federal law bans children’s books printed before 1985 **

Until 1985, it was legal for trace amounts of lead to be used in the inks and paints used in children’s books. But the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (PDF), which went into effect February 10, bans the sale of any children’s products containing more than 600 parts per million (ppm) total lead, no matter how unlikely it is that the items will feature at a toddler buffet. The Consumer Products Safety Commission has “clarified” the issue with contradictory guidance that has thrift stores and even libraries disposing of mountains of books published before the magic date – and hoping that a stray copy of The Wind in the Willows doesn’t bring down the wrath of the regulators.

The CPSIA has already drawn plenty of notice for its potential impact on small toy makers who are unlikely to be able to foot the bill for testing and certifying their products. Bubbling under the surface, however, have been worries about the potential impact of the law on the otherwise lively market for vintage children’s books, and even on the children’s sections at libraries. The law is retroactive, affecting even vintage items sold at thrift stores, and books are included among the long list of regulated products. The American Library Association says it can cost hundreds of dollars to test a single book.

Aware of public concerns over a law that effectively bans millions of books, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued guidance intended to reassure the public. As is usually the case with bureaucracies, however, the “clarification” at best delayed the day of reckoning by a year, and also sowed confusion.

On January 30, the CPSC delayed until 2010 testing requirements for many of the products affected by the new law. That was especially welcome news for libraries fearful of the expense and difficulty of certifying Winnie the Pooh as non-threatening to kiddies.

But that’s just one year, and it’s not the end of the confusion.
A January 8, 2009 press release from the CPSC said:
The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.
Combined with formal guidance that “Books – ‘ordinary’ children’s titles e.g. paperbacks and hardbacks” are “OK to sell, if printed after 1985” that seems to suggest that thrift shops don’t actually have to test their inventory, but they’re still on the hook if they actually sell older books that later turn out to have been printed with leaded ink.
The only exception appears to be vintage children’s books intended for sale to adult collectors.

So now bookshops and thrift stores are throwing out large chunks of their inventory for fear they will be prosecuted, see:

I hadn’t heard about the books connection before but this law is apparenly killing small toymakers and crafts people. But, hey, it’s for the chiiilllldrennn.

My suspicious nature thinks that this is a good way for the government to get rid of non-politically correct books. How easy it would be to change the text and if an older copy is not available how would you know?

Hitler just used to burn them and be done with it.

My friend had some information that this is a way to get all the
books out of circulation that show Mom, Dad,little children in a
family. In other ways, the pc patrol! I’m going to have my family
hang on to those old books. Also some with truth about the
way our government works, how Columbus discovered America
(without the info that he brought stds to kill the indians!), others
showing our Judao-Christians roots, etc.

Godwin’s Law! Time to close the thread!

Boy am I glad my mom saved all of my books!!

But then again, if there is lead in the ink that could explain why I’m a little :whacky:

Haa, CAF law hasn’t happened yet.

OK now it has :smiley:

The Sisters of Mary Immaculate in Leechburg, PA print books teaching the Faith to small children. We are waiting for further information as to if using ink that is tested prior to the printing will allow them to continue to support themselves this way.:frowning:

The older copy would still be available at the Library of Congress for sure. There’s also a digital library project that is slowly digitizing every book ever published. It’s prioritizing English language books. They have scans of books etc. So, a conspiracy won’t work unless it involves the universities sponsoring this project etc.

Amazon has a new e-book reader called the Kindle 2. It should be simple enough for children to use.

It seems around 7,000 childrens books are available. I’m sure some are from before 1985.

Besides, plenty of politically incorrect books for children are still being written today. And they are all available on

Dose this include the Bible?

Sony makes a less expensive one that is just as easy to use, and my 9yo had absolutely no problem intuiting the interface without instruction! My 4yo hasn’t tried it, since I don’t have any picture books on it.

They are not color, tho’. Give it a couple years; Sony has a color one in Japan in testing.

If it is to protect the children from health risks I have no problem with it. We can reprint all of them with modern means.

Odd that they ban children’s books in libraries because they might contain lead, a harmful substance to the body----but they steadfastly refuse to remove pornography from computers in libraries where children might have access to it, even though that is a harmful substance to the mind and soul.

The government’s agenda here is so wide and high you can see it from sixty miles away.

But will they reprint them?:shrug:
And really, has anyone ever heard of someone getting ill from reading a book? I guess that would depend on the topic:) but I don’t think this is a problem. I have all of my books from the 1970’s, I’m okay. My children have been reading them, they are just fine. This is just what some lazy kids need to hear. Reading and getting books could hurt you!

Books printed before 1985 probably won’t harm children unless they eat them.

I visit the library regularly, and at my library, which is in the liberal state of Massachusetts, you can not get into porn sites. They are blocked and you are told so as soon as you log in. Also, the children’s library is separate from the adult library and I would think if they have the block at the adult library, they have it at the children’s library as well.

So, I don’t know why libraries were you live would allow children to have access porn. I’d move to another state if that were the case. :smiley:


FYI, before you condemn the motivation on removing lead from children’s books, I think it would be best to update your information on the reality of lead poisoning in children, and the harmful effects.

If we can prevent it, why not?

Here’s a couple of sites for information.

Hope this helps. :thumbsup:


The safety of the children seems to be something that could be done in a better way. Right now where I live it is not prohibited to sell dirt bikes, quads etc because they might contain led and are used by some children under 12. How many children or people for that matter have you seen licking or eating RV parts?

As for the books. As a parent I never let children in my charge eat books. As grandparent I still don’t let kids chew on or eat books.

The government wants to protect the children from lead. Yet they won’t protect them from abortion.:mad:

Lead doesn’t get into the child’s system because they’re licking or eating lead laced materials. Lead comes off of paint as
microscopic dust particles, and it can be inhaled and also be absorbed through the eyes and skin.

The harm to children isn’t made up for political purposes, by liberals just to give you something to complain about.



These books could be sealed just like the apartments and homes that children live in are allowed to do. Easy no but it can be done. But books are not allowed to be done this way. Books are to be destroyed even if the child is only to br read from them.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit