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Don’t let consumer safety issues spoil the festive season. Increased consumer spending means more sales, but also increased pressure to deliver attractive, affordable products in a very short space of time. Effective product testing (safety, quality, reliability) helps to ensure consumer safety and minimise your risk of product failure, or recall. We look at some popular categories.



Food contact related party items

As the holiday season approaches, we are reaching the time of year when people have gatherings with their friends and family. Party items such as disposable cutlery, cups and plates that will come into contact with food must comply with specific US regulations and standards in order to be labelled safe for use.

In the US, different food contact materials need to comply with specific requirements from the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), as set out in 21 CFR, parts 175 to 179. Some of these requirements include testing for residual styrene monomers if the item is made out of Polystyrene (PS). Another example is the testing of Polyethylene (PE), to determine the extractable fraction in n-Lexane and the soluble fraction in Xylene, for compliance with the FDA regulations, before a food contact item can be sold in the US.

Sunglasses: more than just a fashion statement

Sunglasses have been around since the days of ancient China and Rome. However, it is only as recently as the early twentieth century that protection from the sun’s rays rather than from just glare gained significance.  During the summer season, outdoor activities generally increase your eyes’ exposure to the sun. Without proper protection, over-exposure can cause damage to the eye’s lens and retina, decreasing visual sharpness as well as substantially increasing the risk of cataract formation. Similarly, in winter sunshine on snowy surfaces can create an increase in UV radiation exposure that may cause damage to the eyes.

Technological advances have allowed designers and manufacturers to be creative and produce different types of frames and lenses to suit many styles and purposes. However, manufacturers must ensure that their products comply with all relevant national regulations imposed by individual governing bodies.

For the US market, ANZI Z80.3 and 21 CFR 801.410 are the applicable safety standards that must be considered.  Correct labelling for appropriate intended must also be verified before glasses may be placed on the market, so that the enduser is fully aware of when and where not to use the sunglasses. Typically, this refers to sunglasses with tinted lenses that are appropriate for driving, or not.

Watches, fashion, or contemporary use: more than time keeping

The wristwatches that we now use have come a long way since their introduction in the late 19th and early 20th century, from mechanical to electronic movements and analogue to digital displays.

Wristwatches are often appreciated as jewellery, or as collectible works, rather than just timepieces. Hence the functionality of watches has expanded. No longer is a watch limited to telling the time. Today, a watch can double as an alarm clock, a stopwatch (chronograph), or even a calculator. More recently, technology has lead to the development of the smartphone watch.

With state-of-the-art equipment, SGS can conduct various tests on new and current wristwatches to ensure the accuracy of time keeping and quality of manufacture, as well as performance testing to confirm overall product quality. 

TEST STANDARD FOR US MARKET

Sharp Points and Edges*

16 CFR 1500.48 16 CFR 1500.49 (MOD)

Lead in Substrate

Reference to ASTM F2999

Nickel Release

Cadmium

Corrosion Test**

ASTM B117 (MOD)

Cross-Cut Adhesion Test**

ASTM D3359 Method B

Water Resistance**

ISO 22810

Abrasion Test**

ISO 23160

* SGS Hong Kong Limited is HOKLAS accredited

** Performance testing

More details of SGS capabilities are detailed in the table above