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Rehab for (recovering) academics.
Teaching and the CPSIA 
29th-Dec-2008 12:02 pm

I was wondering how the new government regulations on lead testing will affect teaching in the coming years. Basically the system imposed will test all items, even items such as books and unfinished wood blocks which shouldn't have lead in them, for lead if it seems likely a child under 12 will use the item. If each batch of the item produced is not tested, it can't be sold. Batch testing is both expensive and extremely ineffective since it is based on the percentage concentration rather than common sense safety. Any items that do not have certificates stating that they meet the current standards will be destroyed sometime in February 2009. This includes all unsold textbooks and children's literature such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. You may be able to get some great textbook deals now, but will have to pay for more expensive books later on, so if you're looking at getting new books, now may well be the best time.

This affects more than just toys. It includes things like textbooks, microscopes, school buses, computers, desks, and light fixtures. I will admit to being a bit sketchy on whether schools will be required to comply immediately, or whether this will simply mean that every new purchase will be more expensive for schools and families already on tight budgets. (for a better, if biased, explanation: http://fenris-lorsrai.livejournal.com/413898.html and http://fenris-lorsrai.livejournal.com/413176.html. Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/20/AR2008122001878.html. Collection of CPSIA articles: http://cpsia-central.ning.com/)

And this leads me to wonder what will happen as schools need more money right as tax payers don't have the money. It seems likely to lead even more well off districts into problems with enrichment items such as microscopes, balls, posters, magnetic letters, and computers, not to mention library books. How are teachers and schools planning to deal with the necessary price hikes?
29th-Dec-2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Must stop eating the books.
29th-Dec-2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Stop eating the inside of bus tires first, then work your way to smaller things. Eventually we'll have you weaned off of books and microscope lightbulbs! :)
30th-Dec-2008 02:15 am (UTC)
Well, that's the last time I use a diet plan someone put on the Internet.
29th-Dec-2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
I am perplexed by your specific Harry Potter shout-out.
29th-Dec-2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
I mention it largely because book dealers still have stockpiles of them and they're one of the hottest modern children's lit items. That and I didn't feel like replacing it with a more modern Twilight reference since that seems more girl-oriented rather than gender-neutral. If you like, replace it with recent C S Lewis reprints since Narnia has become a hotter property with the Disney movie deal. I don't think there's as large a stockpile of Jack London, Mark Twain, or Judy Blume books, but those will need to be burned as well if they don't meet the criteria.

My favorite add in for Christians in this holiday season is the image of a child's Bible in flames because no one can prove it doesn't contain lead in spite of the fact there was no lead in any of the materials used to make it.
29th-Dec-2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
Jesus, I had a whole army of lead soldiers as a kid!
(Deleted comment)
29th-Dec-2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
My understanding is that since it has already passed the White House, it can't be undone except through another bill in Congress. There's already been offical court rulings on it (see the Washington Post article) No matter how it is implemented it will raise prices without fixing things. My opinion is obviously that batch testing is a bad plan. The only ones who can afford it are the big businesses who run big batches.

So far smaller companies are already planning to stop manufacturing items. Let us not forget handcraftsmen who make custom stuffed animals or wooden toys, none of which are filled with lead. A lot of small companies that make learning aid toys and posters for teachers and home schools (particularly those who make special ed learning toys for handicapped children (small demand so small batch runs)) are likely to end up out of business given the current economics plus the increased cost of operations to check for lead in products that could only have lead through some sort of alchemy.
29th-Dec-2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
It's also going to put a lot of small toy companies out of business.

Or, rather, it's going to turn small toy companies into small COLLECTIBLE OBJECTS WHICH RESEMBLE TOYS BUT ARE NOT MEANT TO BE USED AS TOYS SO THERE companies.
29th-Dec-2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
"Or, rather, it's going to turn small toy companies into small COLLECTIBLE OBJECTS WHICH RESEMBLE TOYS BUT ARE NOT MEANT TO BE USED AS TOYS SO THERE companies."

Doesn't work. The law covers anything which may be "publicly percieved as for use by children under 12." Thus you can't use that loophole if average Joe thinks it looks like a toy.
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