Date: Dec 29, 2008
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has had a busy December, issuing accreditation standards for testing for lead in metal children's jewelry, and a request for comments on component testing as part of its ongoing efforts to implement provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act of 2008 (CPSIA). Commission staff is also recommending for Commission adoption an interpretive rule relevant to inaccessible components, and three Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on exemptions for electronics, for certain materials that contain low or no lead, and a proposed process for exemptions for materials that do not pose a health risk. In the meantime, four states have submitted requests to recognize their state laws.
Lab Accreditation Standards for Lead Content in Metal: The CPSC announced that on December 22, 2008, the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies to test the 600 parts per million (ppm) and 300 ppm lead limits in metal and metal alloy parts of children's metal jewelry went into effect. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 102, metal components of children's jewelry products must be tested by an accredited laboratory 90 days thereafter. Thus, metal components of children's jewelry manufactured March 23, 2009 or later must be tested by an accredited laboratory. For a full list of the lab accreditation requirements, including referenced methods, see: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-30255.pdf.
Staff Recommendations on Lead Exceptions: On Christmas Eve, the CPSC staff posted four recommendations for action that will be the subject of an expected vote by the Commission on January 5. They include:
These CPSC proposals come shortly after the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed a petition seeking a comprehensive rule on lead, including lead testing, exceptions and exemptions. Clarity on exceptions and exemptions is especially critical since the CPSC General Counsel determined that the lead substrate restrictions apply to products sold after February 10, 2009.
Four States Seek Recognition from Preemption: Four states – Arizona, California, Illinois and New York – seek CPSC recognition of existing state toy and children's product safety standards. Pursuant to the application process set out in § 106(h)(2) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), the Attorney General of each state is requesting a ruling that the following laws and regulations are not preempted by CPSIA:
What's Next?: All of these items will likely be the topic of requests for public comment. In the meantime, the clock is ticking on the February 10, 2009 deadline when the 600 ppm lead substrate limits take effect, and many safe materials are not currently excluded from the lead limits. Affected industry members and associations should continue to provide information, data and comments to the CPSC on issues of interest to them.