U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that, starting Feb. 10, 2009, consumer products intended for children 12 and under cannot have more than 600 parts per million of lead in any accessible part. This new safety requirement is a key component of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) aimed at further reducing children's exposure to lead.
In an effort to provide clear and reasonable guidance to those impacted by this important law, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing its enforcement policy on the lead limits established by the CPSIA.
Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers should also be aware that CPSC will:
(The Commission generally will not prosecute someone for making, selling or distributing items in these categories even if it turns out that such an item actually contains more than 600 ppm lead.)
-Issue an interim final rule effective February 10, 2009, which establishes alternative lead limits for certain electronic devices, in order to prevent unnecessary removal of certain children's products from store shelves.
-Accept a manufacturer's determination that a lead-containing part on their product is inaccessible to a child and not subject to the new lead limits, if it is consistent with the Commission's proposed guidance or is based on a reasonable reading of the inaccessibility requirement. Paint and other coatings or electroplating are not considered barriers that make a component inaccessible.
This enforcement policy will remain in effect until superseded by action of the Commission.
CPSC still expects companies to meet their reporting obligation under federal law and immediately tell the Commission if they learn of a children's product that exceeds the new lead limits starting on February 10, 2009. Companies also should know that the CPSIA generally prohibits the export for sale of children's products that exceed the new lead limits.
As announced on Jan. 30, 2009, the Commission approved a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers. Significant to makers of children's products, the 'stay' provides limited relief from the testing and certification for total lead content limits, phthalates limits for certain products and mandatory toy standards.