CPSC Announces Stay of CPSIA Certification and Testing Requirements

Today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a stay of certain certification and testing requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).  Basically, the CPSC has stayed the CPSIA provisions that require manufacturers (and importers of foreign produced goods) to test and certify children’s products for lead content or phthalates beginning on February 10, 2009. 

However, the lead content limit of 600 ppm is still effective.  Beginning on February 10, 2009, all children’s producgts must meet a lead limit of 600 ppm.  This stay does not change the requirement that children’s products cannot be distributed in commerce if they do not meet the lead limit.  What the stay changes is that you don’t have to test to figure that out.  So, if you have certified organic fabrics, you may have enough information to determine that your products satisfy the lead limit.  But, if you don’t have information about your products, then you may still need to test to verify that your products meet the lead limit. 

The CPSC warns businesses, particularly microbusinesses and hand crafters, of certain components, such as zippers, that may fail the lead limits.  In my XRF testing experience, the components that may fail are rhinestones, crystals, zipper pulls, zipper bases, zipper stops, grommets, snaps, metal closures, pearl or opalescent plastic buttons, vinyl (stabilized with lead) and eyelets.  Some screen prints may also fail.

The stay also does not effect the ban on certain phthalates in toys and child care products.  Toys and child care articles manufactured after February 10, 2009 cannot contain the certain phthalates above 1,000 ppm.  But, you don’t have to test to figure that out.  You may need to test if you can’t otherwise determine whether your products contain any of the 6 phthalates, but you don’t have to do so. 

The stay does not change certain standards already in place.  The third party testing requirements for lead in paints and coatings, lead in metal children’s jewelry, pacifiers, and cribs are NOT stayed.  Similarly, certain standards related to mattresses, ATVs and flammability in children’s sleepwear are not changed.

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