EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2471 - February 03, 2011     2 of 4

CPSC Grants Stay on Lead Testing Enforcement of Children's Products

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to extend the stay of enforcement for testing and certification of lead content in children's products (except for metal components of children's metal jewelry) until December 31, 2011.

Starting on December 31, 2011, manufacturers and importers of children's products that are subject to the lead content limit must have the appropriate certificates that indicate that their products have been tested by a CPSC-approved third party laboratory, in order for their products to be sold in the United States.

The law has been criticized by makers and sellers of children's toys and clothing, particularly small businesses. The Handmade Toy Alliance has been trying to get reform passed to fix what it calls the unintended consequences of the CPSIA, claiming that their members' business are struggling to navigate the costly labeling and third-party testing protocols that they say do not add to overall product safety.

Despite the stay of enforcement on testing and certification, manufacturers, importers and retailers of children's products must continue to comply with the federal restrictions for total lead content.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) requires that all children's products have no more than 300 parts per million (ppm) of lead content. The lead content limit will drop to 100 ppm on August 14, 2011, unless CPSC determines that it is not technologically feasible to establish this lower limit for a product or product category. The CPSIA also establishes a limit of 90 ppm for lead in paint and surface coatings.

The stay of enforcement does not apply to the 90 ppm limit on lead in paint and surface coatings or to the current 300 ppm limit on lead content in metal components of children's jewelry. Certification based on third party testing is currently required for children's products in these categories.


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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