Consumer Product Updates and Testing


CPSIA Compliant

By Crystal Johnson

Definition of Children's Products

Am I required to test my products in accordance with the CPSIA requirements? Where do I begin with my testing and compliance program? These are common questions that Applied Technical Services (ATS) customers pose. Testing and certifying your products not only applies to toys, but is also contingent upon whether your item is a children’s product. We, at ATS, know that some items are intended for adults, some for children, and some considered for both. So, is your item a “children’s product”? Fortunately, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of this quandary and published a final interpretive rule defining a “children’s product” on October 14, 2010. This definition provides further clarification for those seeking to determine whether compliance is needed with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). If your product falls within the key areas listed below, then you are subject to complying with the CPSIA total lead content limits, providing certification based on 3rd party laboratory test reports, and implementing tracking labels on your products.

As cited from the CPSC website in Part 1200.2 (definitions), below are the factors that “shall be considered” when making this conclusion of a “children’s product”:

  • A statement by the manufacturer about the intended use of the product, including a label on the product if such statement is reasonable. 
  • Is your product represented in its packaging, display, promotion, or advertising as appropriate for use by children 12 years of age or younger?
  • Is your product recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child 12 years of age or younger?
  • Review “Age Determination Guidelines” issued by the Commission staff in 9/2002, and any successor to such guidelines.

These items are expressly stated on the CPSC website www.cpsc.gov. The CPSC does not place more/less importance on any particular factor to be taken into account.  They are all equally important and shall be considered in review of your items.

The CPSC also addresses “general use” products in the Final Interpretive Rule by giving explicit examples in the form of comment and response. “General use” products are those items which are primarily intended for consumers older than 12 years of age, items which a child would not typically interact with. Some examples of this are televisions, microscopes/telescopes, scientific equipment, pens & pencils (primarily not intended for 12 & younger), carpets & rugs (without childish theme), etc.

Once you have made this determination of “children’s product”, it is important for you to carefully review the CPSC exemptions for testing.   Some items such as printed paper using the traditional 4 color print process, may be exempt from lead testing as long as they are untreated and free of finishes or coatings.  A few exemptions exist for “natural materials”, which may apply to your product, such as:  dyed/undyed textiles, yarns, and fibers (cotton, wool, etc), wood, precious metals, etc.  For a complete list of material exemptions please visit the CPSC website www.cpsc.gov

It is imperative that consumer products are reviewed on a case by case basis to make an accurate determination of whether or not it is a “children’s product”. If a product meets this classification, then following the CPSC requirements for testing and certification is crucial to ensure that your company does not incur a recall or penalty.

As a CPSC accredited lab partner, we hope to be a part of your “reasonable testing program” to ensure full compliance and safety.

ATS Updates
  • We recently gained our accreditation for European Testing, which includes BS EN 71 Parts 1-3.

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