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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 139/17

SafeGuardS boy play plastic toys

Albany County in the US state of New York has recently announced the enforcement of its local law for children’s products and apparel. Enforcement of the law will begin on November 1, 2017.

In January 2015, Albany County became the first local government in New York State to enact [1] Local Law 1 for 2015 (‘The Toxic Free Toys Act’) to prohibit six heavy metals (antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, lead and mercury) and benzene in children’s products and apparel primarily intended for children aged twelve and under. The enforcement of the law and its amendment [2] has been postponed due to a series of legal challenges.

Albany County has recently made available a series of publications to assist retailers to comply with Local Law No. 1 for 2015, as amended. These include the following:

  • Letter to Retailers [3]. This letter, dated summer 2017, informs retailers to understand the law fully and that enforcement will begin on November 1, 2017.

  • Toxic Free Toys Act Regulations [4]. The rules and regulations, as amended, have been promulgated by the Commissioner of Health. It is interesting to note that there are significant changes to the original law and its amendment, including the following:

    • Heavy metals in children’s products and apparel regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FSHA) or any other applicable federal law or enforcement policy that is administered by the federal government, are to be applied in accordance with those laws and policies.

    • A completely separate set of requirements for certain heavy metals in children’s products and apparel not covered by federal legislation

    • Attestation of Compliance. This annual certificate is on forms promulgated by the Department of Health (DOH)

    • Test methods used by the DOH

    • The DOH will conduct random inspection of establishments using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) or other means

  • Attestation of Compliance [5]

  • Frequently Asked Questions [6]

The law provides a number of exemptions, including the following:

  • Used children’s products or apparel that are sold or distributed for free or are donated to charities.

  • Children’s products and apparel sold exclusively on the internet

  • Protective sporting equipment designed to prevent injury

  • Batteries, consumer electronics or electronic components, paper products, or a drug, biological, medical device, food or additive regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Highlights of Local Law No. 1 for 2015, as amended, are summarized in the table below.

New York Albany County
Local Law No. 1 for 2015 as amended (Toxic Free Toys Act)
Scope Children’s products and apparel not covered by federal legislation Children’s products and apparel covered by federal legislation
Material
Surface coatings
Accessible substrates

 

 

 

Heavy metals under federal law, including CPSA and FHSA, or enforcement policy administered by the federal government are to be applied in the same manner and
force

Antimony
≤ 60 ppm (soluble)
(polyesters are exempt)
≤ 60 ppm (soluble, toys*)
(polyesters are exempt)
Arsenic
≤ 25 ppm (soluble)
≤ 25 ppm (soluble, toys*)
Cadmium
≤ 75 ppm (soluble)
≤ 75 ppm (soluble, toys*)
Lead
≤ 90 ppm (soluble)
≤ 100 ppm (total)
Mercury
≤ 60 ppm (soluble)
≤ 60 ppm (soluble, toys*)
Enforcement Date
November 1, 2017
November 1, 2017
According to federal law or enforcement policy administered by the federal government
Attestation of Compliance Annual certificate required by December 1, 2017,otherwise within 30 days following the first date of operation by entity

Note

  • *Calculated pursuant to ASTM F963
  • Test methods used by the DOH: XRF per CPSC Test Methods CPSC-CH-E1001-08.3 or CPSC-CH-E1002-08.3, or testing performed at a CPSC accredited laboratory or according to FHSA protocol requirements
  • The DOH will, in addition to unannounced inspections, conduct random inspection of at least ten establishments on a quarterly basis by using an XRF analyzer, engaging a CPSC-accredited laboratory, or both

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

NEXT STEP:

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements under ‘The Toxic Free Toys Act’ for the New York Albany County market.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

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