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CPSC Seeking Information Regarding Third Party Testing for Lead, Phthalates and the Solubility of Certain Chemicals

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) has issued a request for information on whether there are materials used in children’s products which do not contain certain prohibited elements (e.g., lead) or chemicals (phthalates), and whether there are any materials that do not contain such elements or chemicals above the applicable maximum limit.

Based on the information collected, the CPSC may consider exempting certain materials from the third party testing requirements. Comments must be submitted by June 17, 2013.

The request for information is seeking data concerning four specific children’s products and materials:

  1. Toys subject to safety standard ASTM F963-11: ASTM F963-11 is a mandatory product safety standard that restricts the maximum solubility of eight elements (antimony; arsenic; barium; cadmium; chromium; lead; mercury; and selenium) in the coatings and substrates of certain toys. Third party testing is required to certify compliance with the limits on these elements, and testing is required when there are material changes to a previously-certified product. Moreover, toys subject to the ASTM F963-11 standard are required to undergo periodic testing to demonstrate continued compliance with the limits. The CPSC seeks information as to materials that could be determined to be compliant with the applicable ASTM F963-11 limits without third party testing and materials that contain the elements within allowable limits.
  2. Toys and certain child care articles: The sale of any toy or child care article containing a concentration of more than 0.1 percent of any of six specified phthalates (DBP; BBP; DEHP; DnOP; DINP; and DIDP) is prohibited. The CPSC seeks information concerning materials that either do not contain the prohibited phthalates or contain these plasticizers in amounts that do not exceed 1000 parts per million.
  3. Manufactured woods: “Manufactured woods” refers to “composite wood products that are wood-based materials, such as particle board, medium density fiber board, and plywood, consisting largely of natural, untreated wood and glues, adhesives, waxes, resins, and similar materials.” Manufactured wood that is accessible in children’s products is subject to a lead limit of 100 parts per million. The CPSC seeks comments on materials that are not already exempt and either do not contain lead or contain lead in allowable limits.
  4. Synthetic food additives: The CPSC has requested comments as to synthetic food additives accessible in children’s products. Such additives are subject to a lead limit of 100 parts per million. The CPSC seeks information on any synthetic food additives that can be shown to either not contain lead or consistently not contain lead over this limit.

Please contact David J. Evan or Christina M. Leonard should you have any questions regarding this notice or seek assistance in the preparation of comments.

16 CFR 1500.91 already excludes certain materials and products from testing which have been found not to exceed the lead content limits under Section 101(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.