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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 172/15

SafeGuardS baby sleeping

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently announced a proposed direct final rule clarifying when component part testing can be used and which textile products have been determined not to exceed the lead content limit of 100 ppm. The rule, unless adverse comments are received by 16 November, will be enforced starting 14 December, 2015.

On 14 October 2015, the U.S. CPSC published an amendment in the Federal Register [1] clarifying two existing rules:

  • Which textile products have been determined not to exceed the 100 ppm lead content limit (16 CFR 1500.91(d)(7)) [2]
  • When component part testing can be used (16 CFR part 1109) [3]

In August 2009, the CPSC published 16 CFR 1500.91 a rule that declared certain materials [4] do not exceed the lead content limits for substrates under section 101(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) so long as the materials have not been treated or adulterated with other materials or treatments that could add lead. Under Section 16 CFR 1500.91(d) (7), textiles (excluding after-treatment applications, including screen prints, transfers, decals or other prints) consisting of [various fibers] are exempted from testing for lead. The commission included dyed textiles in this exemption. 

Since publication, the CPSC has found that the phrase ‘or other prints’ may mistakenly be interpreted to mean that the application process, such as printing, is a determining factor for the exemption. The Commission has amended the provision to clarify that dyed textiles, regardless of the techniques used to manufacture these materials and apply the dye, are not required to be tested for lead in paint or lead in substrates.

In November 2011, the CPSC published 16 CFR 1109 establishing requirements for the use of component part testing in children’s products to support a certificate of compliance (CoC). Because of examples given in the text of the rule, the CPSC indicated that this rule may have been misinterpreted as excluding the option of component testing for products and requirements that are not explicitly specified in the examples, namely paint, lead content in children’s products and phthalates in children’s toys and childcare articles.

An example of acceptable component part testing not explicitly specified in Subpart B of 16 CFR 1109 is the soluble heavy metals for toy substrate materials other than paints required by the toy safety standard ASTM F963.

This clarification explains that manufacturers are allowed to use component part testing for situations other than the specific circumstances described in subpart B (paint, lead content of children’s products and phthalates in children’s toys and childcare articles) and subpart C (composite testing). 

The revision to 16 CFR 1109 amends the following sections:

  • Section 1109.1(c) is revised to clarify that subpart B applies to products or requirements expressly identified in subpart B rather than placing limitations on the use of component part testing for chemical content.
  • Section 1109.5(a) is revised to clarify that the requirements of subparts B and C are only required if applicable in the circumstances identified in subparts B and C.
  • Section 1109.11(a) is revised to the latest version of the toy safety standard; ASTM F963-2011.
  • Section 1109.13 is revised to add a reference to the Commission’s guidance concerning inaccessible component parts (16 CFR 1199). [5] 

The proposed final direct rule, unless adverse comments are received by 13 November, will be enforced starting 14 December 2015. Highlights of the clarification are summarised in Table 1. 

Table 1

Proposed direct final rule

16 CFR 1109 and 1500 ‘Amendment to clarify when component part testing can be used and which textile products have been determined not to exceed the allowable lead content limits’

Entry

16 CFR Part

Highlight

1

1500.91(7)

Certain materials not exceeding 100 ppm lead content limit

  • - Amends language to clarify that dyed textiles, regardless of the techniques used to manufacture the materials and apply the colorants, are not subject to the required testing for lead in paint or for total lead content 

2

1109.1(c)

  • - Clarifies that manufacturers can use component part testing for products or requirements other than those explicitly specified in 16 CFR 1109 Subpart B [lead content in paints, lead content in children’s products (substrates) and phthalates in toys and childcare articles] and Subpart C (composite testing)

3

1109.11(a)

Component part testing for paint ‘Generally’

  • - Updates ASTM F963-08 to ASTM F963-2011

4

1109.13

Component testing for phthalates in children’s toys and childcare articles

  • - Addition of reference to the Commission’s existing guidance on inaccessible component parts (16 CFR 1199) for consistency between lead (§1109.12) and phthalates (§1109.13)

Enforcement date

  • - 14 December, 2015 (unless adverse comments are received by 13 November 2015)

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy, for restricted substances in toys and other children’s products for the US and international markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
Global Toys and Juvenile Products
t: +852 2774 7420

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