Lead & Other Heavy Metals Testing

We Ensure You Meet Current Federal Limits

Serving customers since 1967, ATS is a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) accredited testing lab (lab identification # 1030) based in the U.S.A. Our state of the art facility has served customers nationally and internationally to ensure products meet the current established total lead content limits and additional safety requirements. ATS performs lead testing per the CPSC approved test methods to ensure products meet the current federal limits, which are as follows:

    • 90 parts per million (ppm) limit for paints and coatings
    • 100 parts per million (ppm) for substrates (plastics, metals, etc.)

    Our detection limits are very low; therefore, ATS can ensure products meet the various state limits that have been established for total lead content, such as the state of Illinois, which is 40 ppm.

Heavy Metals Testing to
ASTM F963-11

In addition to the testing requirement for lead, the CPSC also requires compliance with heavy metals testing per the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toys, ASTM F963-11.  This became a mandatory CPSC requirement on June 12, 2012.  The latest edition of ASTM F963 requires toy substrate materials to be tested for heavy metals in addition to paints & coatings (which was a requirement in ASTM F963-08).  Toy substrate materials that are accessible as defined by the standard require testing for the migration of antimony, arsenic, lead, barium, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and selenium.  Limits for each of these heavy metals have been established in ASTM F963-11.  Samples must comply with the limits in order for the toy to be compliant with CPSC requirements.  The soluble limits in parts per million (ppm) are as follows:

Antimony 60 ppm
Arsenic 25 ppm
Barium 1000 ppm
Cadmium 75ppm
Chromium 60 ppm
Lead 90 ppm
Mercury 60 ppm
Selenium 500 ppm
ATS provides the following for our customers:
  • Free consultation and review of products for CPSIA compliance
  • Competitive pricing
  • Protocol development for retailers
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Timely and accurate results
  • Assistance with completing Certificate of Compliance (COC)

The History of Lead & the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008

Lead is a toxic heavy metal used for years in the building and construction industry. It is used in batteries, bullets and shot, weights, solder, some metal alloys (e.g. pewter, brass, etc.), radiation shields, a coloring element in ceramic glazes (notably in the colors red and yellow), used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC), used in making certain glasses, the traditional base metal of organ pipes, oil-based paints (lead carbonate), and for pigments in paints (particularly white, yellow, orange, and red). Like other heavy metals, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead poisoning was even documented in ancient times in Greece, Rome, and China.

Lead poisoning damages the nervous system (especially in young children) and can cause blood and brain disorders and has even been linked to learning disabilities in children at low levels. Lead poisoning typically results from ingestion of lead contaminated materials or lead based paint. The concern about lead exposure in children has brought about the passage of stricter legislation to reduce its use (the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008).

Section 102 of the CPSIA requires manufacturers to certify children’s products and demonstrate compliance with the CPSC's rules, standards, or bans. This involves implementing and adhering to a reasonable testing program. Part of that reasonable testing program is to perform compliance testing.

Section 102 of the CPSIA requires manufacturers to certify children’s products and demonstrate compliance with the CPSC's rules, standards, or bans. This involves implementing and adhering to a reasonable testing program. Part of that reasonable testing program is to perform compliance testing.

The CPSIA establishes specific lead limits in children’s products. Section 101(a) of the CPSIA states that, as of August 14, 2011, products designed or intended for children 12 and younger cannot contain more than 100 ppm of lead (this applies to substrate materials). The lead limit for paints or surface coatings is 90 ppm.

Currently the CPSC exempts the following materials from 3rd party testing and certification: precious gemstones and semiprecious gemstones; natural or cultured pearls; wood; paper and similar materials; traditional CMYK process printing inks; textiles of natural fibers; some manufactured fibers; other plant-derived and animal-derived materials; surgical steel and other stainless steel; and precious metals. But any textiles that have undergone after-treatment applications, such as screen prints, transfers, decals, or other prints still need to be certified for compliance. Contact our staff here at ATS for further details on those materials requiring compliance testing.

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