Consumer Product Updates and Testing


Toy Testing Requirements

By Crystal Johnson

With the recent state legislation coming into effect for various states, we would like to highlight the current/pending requirements that your business should be considering as it relates to Toys and Children’s Products.  The requirements listed below may currently affect your testing programs.

Toxic Metals Protection Act, H.R. 5920 was introduced into legislation by Congresswoman Jackie Speier on July 29, 2010.  If passed this bill will “prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution in commerce of children’s products containing excessive cadmium, chromium, barium, and antimony”.  Currently there is an established limit for the soluble content of these elements as specified in ASTM F963-08.  However, this act will establish a total limit (just as legislation has with total content) 90 days after enactment.  Cadmium has recently been found in children’s products as a substitute for lead (please refer to our January/February 2010 Newsletter).  Compounds of some of these elements are considered to be even more toxic than lead and should not be used in children’s products.  These elements need to be monitored and controlled at low levels to prevent hazardous exposure. The proposed limits are as follows:

  • Antimony  - 60 ppm (parts per million
  • Barium  - 1,000 ppm
  • Cadmium  - 75 ppm
  • Chromium  - 60 ppm

Cadmium Content in Children’s Products: On August 27, 2010 legislation to set strict limits on cadmium in jewelry was passed.  There are currently 3 other states that regulate cadmium in jewelry.  These states include:

Minnesota, Illinois, and Connecticut.  Additionally, 6 other states are considering legislation related to Cadmium (ATS January/February 2010 Newsletter).

State Item Regulated Regulated Limit Effective Date
Minnesota Children’s Jewelry 75 ppm soluble Products manufactured after 1/1/11 and sold after 3/1/11
Illinois Children’s Jewelry 75 ppm soluble Products manufactured after 7/1/11
Connecticut Children’s Jewelry 75 ppm soluble Products manufactured after 1/1/14

Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is found in residual amounts on plastics where it is used as a raw material in manufacturing, such as polycarbonate. These plastic products have been used to make such items as  children’s "sippy" cups, water bottles, and it is even found in epoxy resins that may be used to line food and beverage cans.  In 2009 The BPA Free Kids Act, H.R. 4456, was introduced. This act addresses the concern of BPA in food and beverage containers intended for children under the age of 3.  This act would be supported by the Federal Hazardous Substance Act, just as CPSIA does, and would ban BPA as a hazardous substance.  If enacted upon, a Certificate of Compliance will be required for children’s food or beverage containers.  Currently, 18 states have proposed bills which will ban BPA in toys, some children’s products, and food/beverage storage containers. The state bills currently passed banning BPA include Maryland, New York, Washington, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Vermont.  These legislative requirements ban the use of BPA in baby bottles, "sippy" cups, and for some states food containers.  Specifically, for the state of Connecticut, Washington, and Vermont the legislation enacted not only covers children’s products, but also beverage containers.   There is quite a bit of research that is currently being conducted to determine if BPA is a chemical of concern for people upon ingestion.

California Proposition 65 was enacted in 1986 for the state of California.  This act is formerly known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.  California Proposition 65 is a list of chemicals known by the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive toxicity.  The purpose of this act is to regulate toxic chemicals in products by requiring manufacturers to warn consumers if a hazardous substance is present in the product or packaging.  This becomes a labeling issue for the manufacturer/retailer of products sold into the state of California, if one of the chemicals on this list is present in the consumer product. The list has currently over 800 chemical compounds and elements of concern and is updated regularly.

Summary

We hope you have found the above information insightful as to some of the current state regulations which may affect the products you produce or import.  Not only must you be concerned with the federal requirements, but state regulations may place restrictions that prohibit sale.  It is important to take a close look at the regulations to make certain that you are operating from a standpoint of compliance.

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

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