Monday, January 19, 2009

Save the books

The new law, which goes into effect in February, states that toys, etc. must be tested for lead before they can be sold. The law is called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and it is designed to protect children all over the country from the dangers of lead.The premise of the law is good since it protects our children from lead poisoning. The problem is that the experts said there could be trace amounts of lead in books because of the ink. That's why the government wants all books, old and new, tested for lead. The testing costs more money that libraries have. For a book, it could between $300 and $600. The American Libraries Assocation is lobbying Capitol Hill to exclude public and school libraries from the new law. If not, it said millions of books will be taken off the shelves and destroyed or kids won't be allowed in the libraries.
Yes, we want safe products for our children, but how far should we go? What happened to all the millions of kids, like myself, who survived the reading of "unsafe" books? As far as I can tell, nothing. The trace amount in books would not hurt the average child, unless, maybe they ate it. It is curious to note how many adults managed to survive a world with peanut butter, dangerous toys, unsafe books, bottles without child protection lids, etc. The number one killer of kids throughout history was disease. Fortunately for us we have antibiotics and immunizations. I'm all for protecting our children. We need laws which do that. However, we need to be careful how far we go. I can envision a world where kids are strapped in foam and sent out into the cruel world of dangers which lurk in every corner. Even bicycles would be banned since we all know that kids will fall off of them or worse yet, run into something.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I don't know how my grandmother lived to be 100. I mean, think of all those dangerous toys she played with. Sheeeesh