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School Bands a Thing of the Past?

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) can add a whole new section to those being adversely affected: School bands.

The ill-conceived law, written in the wake of lead in paint recalls of imported toys (the wording of which was guided along by consumer groups and the very companies that were issuing those recalls) sets lead content levels as legal or illegal with no regard whatsoever for risk. An example of this would be crystals. Typically high in lead content, but the amount of lead that is soluble if swallowed is negligable.

Today the Consumer Product Safety Commission met to discuss exempting Brass. Brass, the likes of which are found throughout houses and schools in the form of door handles, hinges and coat racks was today determined to be illegal. Actually, for children under 12, it’s a banned hazardous substance. So what else will be affected now? School bands. Let’s take a glimpse at what are now officially banned hazardous items for children 12 and under:

  • Bells
  • Bugles
  • Cymbals
  • French Horns
  • Guitars
  • Saxophones
  • Trombones
  • Trumpets
  • Tubas

I’ve probably missed something, but essentially you’re left with woodwinds, strings and some of your percussion section. What kind of school band do you have at this point?!

I invite any members of Congress to explain here why this does not deserve an IMMEDIATE amendment.


9 comments on “School Bands a Thing of the Past?

  1. Larry Marshall
    November 4, 2009

    If brass is illegal (under 12), what about door knobs, hinges, and American flag poles in elementary schools? This is just nuts.

    Cheers — Larry

  2. grecowoodcrafting
    November 5, 2009

    I completely agree, Larry. Door knobs and hinges were just a few things Commissioner Nord brought up as well.


  3. Marianne
    November 5, 2009

    There seems to be no end in sight to this insanity. Are you insane yet? Seems like everyone dealing with this issue except the CPSC has realized just how crazy this law is.

  4. Marie
    November 7, 2009

    Scratch the string instruments. Brass hinges on the violin cases, brass in the eyelet of the bows.

    Scratch the woodwinds. Brass wire used in reed construction.

    Scratch the percussion instruments unless they are entirely made of wood. Brass is used in many parts of drum kits and tympani.

    Oddly, steel drum bands MIGHT be ok.

  5. GregS
    November 7, 2009

    Marianne: Actually I think the CPSC themselves realize how crazy this law is. It is Congress that refuses to acknowledge its craziness (probably because everyone in Congress is clinically insane), and the CPSC’s hands are tied. We saw what happened with they actually tried to issue a commonsense interpretation of the phtalates bad (saying it wasn’t retroactive) and had their interpretation struck down by a court that concluded that their interpretation was not consistent with the law.

  6. GregS
    November 7, 2009

    Oops: I meant “phthalates ban” in the previous post.

  7. grecowoodcrafting
    November 7, 2009

    GregS: With all due respect, maybe you haven’t seen the webcast of this hearing. The Chairperson sat quiet adding nothing except for keeping parliamentary procedure running properly, while others claimed it absolutely should not be brought to Congress.

    Can they change the wording of the CPSIA? Absolutely not. But it is their obligation to tell Congress where changes are needed- not fabricate reasons to avoid doing so.


  8. Pingback: CPSIA’s ban on brass

  9. Pingback: Toy Police Nix Brass in Children's Products | KEYTLaw

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