Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Case of Extremes in Idiocy: CPSIA

Neil Gaiman alerted me to something via Twitter. It's not something I had heard about before and is indicative of the reason that we need to have the occasional common sense veto on our lawmakers.

When the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 was passed last year, in the wake of the lead paint panic, it seemed wise. But a poorly written law often can do far more damage than good.

Now, I only discovered this myself within the last couple hours. But as much as it sounds like an Urban Legend, it does not seem to be so.

In trying to address a legitimate problem, our government has passed a law that is nothing short of stupid. The part that first caught my attention was about children's books published pre-1985. These are now considered so hazardous as to be outlawed for sale or even being stocked in libraries? Excuse me? Look, my copy of Where The Wild Things Are is not going to give my kid lead poisoning. Apple seeds are poisonous too. In sufficient quantities.

Another affected area? Bicycles. After all, I see kids eating bicycle frames for lunch every freaking day. They might be poisoned. We must address this atrocity! If my kid gets a bicycle frame in his mouth somehow, I am more worried about the fall he just took and his teeth. Not about possible lead poisoning from the metal. (Note that they are talking about the structural frame, not the paint on the frame.)

C'mon. We can not afford to allow this kind of stupidity to go unchecked. If you don't tell stupid people they are stupid, they think they are not doing anything wrong.

More information here:
http://www.city-journal.org/2009/eon0212wo.html
http://overlawyered.com/2009/02/cpsia-what-will-be-enforced
http://designloft.blogspot.com/2009/02/cpsia-by-numbers-why-libraries-cant.html

and directly from the source:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09120.html

Spread the word and let's see if we can't get someone of intelligence in Washington to notice this travesty!

Edit: Adding a good link about how to handle calling your Congressional Representative.
http://www.whimsicalwalney.com/wp/?p=156

Further edit: I checked out the usually-reliable Snopes and their article is aimed at clothing resale and gives a blanket false report, not addressing the book issue. Please do not be fooled by this. The stay on the law still exempts children's books printed before 1985.

5 comments:

Wacky Hermit said...

Thank you for posting on CPSIA and encouraging people to write their Congressmen! We need them to know that we don't want this law-- they think we want CPSIA because they only hear from the same "consumer" groups that supported this law in the first place!

Alessia Brio said...

I love it when you advocate. :heart:

Angela James said...

I think if you do some Googling, you'll come up with some excellently written blog posts, especially by members of the crafting community, on this topic. I think it's largely due to the grassroots efforts that started within communities like Etsy that there was a stay at all. I have hope that politicians will see that we can't afford another law that will so negatively impact the economy, as it would make it impossible for many small business owners to continue.

I'm glad you've discovered this and are helping spread the word!

Zoe Nichols said...

You know, I happen to really like a good bicycle frame every blue moon or so. And oh...all those classics that I've been secretly purchasing?

I confess. They're utterly delectable when smothered in cheese and sour cream.

(I managed to type that with a straight face. Someone gimme a cookie.)

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

That and what I think is called the "food safety modernization act" are equally special. The latter is supposed to help, oh, trace contaminated peanut butter to its source, but the way it's written will make small farmers, farm stands, and farmers' markets drown in bureaucracy.

Sigh. I mostly hung up my activist hat a long time ago. Time to dust it off, put new gaudy trimmings on it, and get back to work.