WASHINGTON, D.C. - On August 14, 2009, new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act CPSIA will take effect that are aimed at making children’s products safer and increasing consumer confidence in the marketplace. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC is educating domestic and overseas manufacturers, importers, and distributors of children’s products and other consumer goods of these important new safety requirements.
CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said the CPSIA’s new requirements will help protect families and she urged businesses to comply. “I will ensure that these requirements are enforced vigorously and fairly,” said Tenenbaum. “By ensuring that toys and other children’s products meet strict lead limits and can be tracked in the event of a recall, I believe children will be better protected in their homes.”
The requirements that become effective on August 14 include:
The limit for lead in children’s products drops from 600 parts per million ppm to 300 ppm. After August 14, it will be unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, or offer for sale, a children’s product that has more than 300 ppm of lead in any part except electronics that is accessible to children.
Lead in Paint and Similar Surface Coating Materials
The limit for lead in paint and similar surface-coating materials for consumer use drops from 600 ppm to 90 ppm. The lead paint limits also apply to toys and other articles intended for children as well as certain furniture products. Products subject to these limits cannot be sold, offered for sale, imported or manufactured after August 14 unless they meet the new lower lead limits.
Civil penalties increase substantially to a maximum of $100,000 per violation and up to a maximum of $15 million for a related series of violations. Previously, civil penalties were a maximum of $8,000 per violation and up to a maximum of $1.825 million for a related series of violations.
Manufacturers must place permanent distinguishing marks tracking label on any consumer product primarily intended for children 12 and younger made on or after August 14, 2009. The permanent marks must enable consumers to ascertain basic information, including the manufacturer or private labeler, location, the date of manufacture, and more detailed information on the manufacturing process such as a batch or run number. The permanent distinguishing marks must appear on the product itself and its packaging to the extent practicable. Learn more about the tracking label requirement at www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/sect103.html#faqs
Advertising for certain toys and games intended for use by children from three to six years old must have warnings regarding potential choking hazards to children younger than three. The requirement to include warnings in Internet advertisements went into effect on December 12, 2008. There was a grace period for the requirement for catalogues and other printed materials, but this grace period expired August 9, 2009. All catalogues and other printed materials distributed on or after August 9, 2009, regardless of when they were printed, must include the appropriate warnings.
Visit CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html for more information about the agency’s successful implementation of the CPSIA.
Mattel, Fisher-Price to Pay $2.3 Million Civil Penalty for Violating Federal Lead Paint Ban
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As part of its commitment to protecting the safety of children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC announced today that Mattel Inc., of El Segundo, Calif. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y. have agreed to pay a $2.3 million civil penalty for violating the federal lead paint ban.
The penalty settlement, which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, resolves CPSC staff allegations that Mattel and Fisher-Price knowingly as defined in the Consumer Product Safety Act imported and sold children’s toys with paints or other surface coatings that contained lead levels that violated a 30-year-old federal law. In 1978, a federal ban was put in place which prohibited toys and other children’s articles from having more than 0.06 percent lead by weight in paints or surface coatings. In 2007, about 95 Mattel and Fisher-Price toy models were determined to have exceeded this limit. Lead can be toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health consequences.
CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously 2-0 to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act CPSIA, which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.
Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits 600 ppm, phthalates limits for certain products 1000 ppm, and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.
CPSC Staff Roundtable: Understanding the Pending Lead Legislation and the Use of Lead in Consumer Products, May 13, 2008
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC staff held a one-day roundtable, “Understanding the Pending Lead Legislation and the Use of Lead in Consumer Products” on May 13, 2008. This roundtable was intended to provide stakeholders with an understanding of the pending Congressional action on lead and the use of lead in consumer products, especially children’s products.
CPSC staff discussed pending lead legislation and enforcement issues, current events abroad, and laboratory testing procedures for lead. Industry representatives discussed the use of lead in consumer products for example, paints and coatings, toys, plastics, jewelry, electronics, batteries and textiles, potential substitutes for lead in their products, best practices that can be implemented to eliminate or reduce the use of lead, and differences between domestic manufacturing plants and their practices and those outside the U.S. The roundtable included question and answer sessions and discussions led by the CPSC staff. A wrap-up session for final comments and questions and answers concluded the day.
KQED | Forum: Lead Tainted Toys
California has sued more than 20 companies in an effort to stop the sale of lead tainted toys. KQED Forum Guest host Cynthia Gorney and guests look at the latest developments:
Host: Cynthia Gorney
Frank Clarke, spokesman for the Toy Industry Association
Jim Wheaton, president of the Environment Law Foundation
Interview: Lead in Toys Poses Health Risk
An interview with Lynn Goldman, MD, MPH, a pediatrician and professor in Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Goldman was also assistant administrator for toxic substances at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1993-1998.