I sifted through the CPSIA FAQ on the CPSC site, and pulled a few of the questions that I thought would be most helpful for my fellow crafters, artisans, and Etsy shop owners to see. I hope this helps some of you make a little more sense of this incredibly vague and complicated law. Make sure to see my previous blog post for a list of links with more information.
Lead Content and Testing
Do all children's products require testing for lead or is it only products with some type of surface coating? We sell products that are used in physical education classes (e.g. hula-hoops) that are made from polyethylene and are not painted or coated. Will this product require third-party testing and certification for lead content under the new CPSIA?
All children’s products (as defined by the CPSIA) subject to the lead limit of the Act will eventually require testing for lead, not just those with surface coatings. It is important to distinguish between the rules that apply to lead paint and surface coatings and the rules that apply to lead content. The CPSIA provides limits to the amount of lead in paint and surface coatings and limits to the
amount of lead in the content of the product itself. Children’s products that are painted, or have surface coatings are also subject to the lead paint limit, in addition to the lead content limits.
When do the lead content limits go into effect for children’s products?
The lead content limits for all children’s products go into effect February 10, 2009 (600 ppm) and will be lowered again on August 14, 2009 (300 ppm).
What certifications are required for children’s products that are tested for lead content?
Children’s products manufactured after February 10, 2009, when the lead limit may not exceed 600 ppm, will need a general conformity certification based on a test of the product or a reasonable testing program for products after that date. Children’s products manufactured after August 14, 2009, when the lead limit
may not exceed 300 ppm, will have to be certified based on third-party testing of the product by accredited third party laboratories after that date.
Does the CPSIA envision stuffed animals falling within the scope of the CPSIA’s lead limits or phthalate limits?
Most stuffed animals would be considered to be children’s products and presumably toys. A manufacturer would need to determine whether the design of the stuffed animals is such that it is subject to the lead paint limits, the lead content limits or the phthalate limits.
Labeling of all children's products
The law requires manufacturers to start labeling product and packaging one year after enactment. Does that mean it would affect products manufactured for the 2010 retail season or that items in retail stores would already have to have tracking labels as of August 2009?
The law requires that one year after enactment, or August 14, 2009, manufacturers of children’s products must place permanent marks on their product providing the information specified. Thus, the Commission staff believes that the tracking label requirement applies to children’s products manufactured on or after August 14, 2009.
What information needs to be provided on the product to meet the tracking label requirements of section 103? Does section 103 of the CPSIA require that a manufacturer’s name be present on a tracking label?
Section 103 of the CPSIA provides that the tracking label must contain information that will enable the manufacturer to ascertain the location and date of production of the product and cohort information (including the batch, run number, or other identifying characteristic) and any other information determined by the manufacturer to facilitate ascertaining the specific source of the product by reference to those marks.
Section 103 of the CPSIA further provides that the tracking label must contain information that will enable the ultimate purchaser to ascertain the manufacturer or private labeler, location and date of production of the product, and cohort information (including the batch, run number, or other identifying characteristic.) Thus, section 103 of the CPSIA does require that the tracking label contain information sufficient for the purchaser to ascertain the manufacturer of the product.
Watch the Commission's website for postings regarding further guidance on this issue. The Commission will seek comments from the public during this process.
Phthalates Limits and Testing
What kind of products does the phthalates prohibition apply to?
Three phthalates, DEHP, DBP, and BBP, have been permanently prohibited by Congress in concentration of more than 0.1% in “children’s toys” or “child care articles.” A “children’s toy” means a product intended for a child 12 years of age or younger for use when playing, and a “child care article” means a product that a child 3 and younger would use for sleeping, feeding, sucking or teething.
Three additional phthalates, DINP, DIDP, and DnOP, have been prohibited pending further study and review by a group of outside experts and the Commission. This interim prohibition applies to child care articles or toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth or brought to the mouth and kept in the mouth so that it can be sucked or chewed that contains a concentration of more than 0.1% of the above phthalates.
How do you determine whether a product is a child care article for purposes of compliance with the phthalates limits?
A child care article is a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer to facilitate sleep or the feeding of children age 3 and younger, or to help such children with sucking or teething. By way of example, a pacifier/teether would be an item that would help a child with sucking or teething; a bib would facilitate feeding; a crib mattress would facilitate sleeping as would pajamas and crib sheets.
Does the prohibition on phthalates apply to jewelry?
It depends. If such jewelry is intended for use as a toy for a child 12 years of age or younger, the phthalates prohibition would apply.
When does the phthalates ban go into effect for children’s toys and child care articles and does it apply to inventory in existence on February 10, 2009?
On February 10, 2009, DEHP, DBP, and BBP are permanently banned, and DINP, DIDP, and DnOP are banned on an interim basis, for children’s toys or child care articles as defined in section 108 of the CPSIA. The ban on the six specified phthalates in section 108 of the CPSIA only applies to products that are manufactured on or after February 10, 2009. For more information see the Office of General Counsel Advisory Opinion (http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/advisory/320.pdf).
What certifications are required for children’s toys and child care articles subject to the phthalates ban?
Children’s toys and child care articles manufactured on or after February 10, 2009, will need a general conformity certification based on a “test of each product or a reasonable testing program.” Starting in September 2009, children’s toys and child care articles will have to be certified based on third-party testing of the product by accredited third-party laboratories. The Commission must post its procedures for accrediting labs to test for phthalates in June 2009.
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