In February, an overzealous law governing lead in products resulted in toys going from store shelves to the trash heap. Now, confusion over how the rules affect children's books has led some libraries to rope off kids' sections.
....Older books pose hardly any danger, according to safety experts at the Centers for Disease Control. The problem is the ambiguity in a law that leaves businesses facing lawsuits if they can't prove their products are safe. In addition to libraries, thrift stores, church bazaars and small batch toymakers are also unclear what they can and can not sell. Makers of bicycles and ATVs have pulled youth models -- designed to increase safety -- off the showroom floor at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Nancy Pelosi boasted last summer that the toy safety law would mean products weren't merely made differently in the future but would be removed from the shelves today. That's the real source of this mayhem, as she was amply warned at the time by Democrat John Dingell, among others. Ms. Pelosi prevailed, and now the harm to thousands of businesses, charities and even public libraries is manifest. Since the House Speaker won't admit a mistake and fix the law, the [Consumer Products Safety Commission] must do what it can to prevent more damage to the already challenging economy.