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Play It Safe provides regular updates on key quality, safety and regulatory developments affecting the toy industry. Author Susan DeRagon is associate director of the Toy and Premium Division at Specialized Technology Resources (STR), the Enfield, Conn.-based CPSC-accredited testing laboratory.
With their Proposed Interpretative Rule, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is attempting to better define what constitutes a children’s product and how to differentiate a children’s product from a general use item. With some products, such as toys, there is no question that the item is a children’s product. But there are many other products that are less clearly identifiable. The di... Read MoreComments (2)
February is a busy month for consumer product safety professionals like me. In the toy industry, the activity leading up to the February Toy Fair and ICPHSO frenzy actually starts a month earlier in January, with the Hong Kong Toy Fair, followed by the London and Nuernberg Toy Fairs. While there were concerns that the poor economy, along with the increased regulatory burden on toy manufacturers,... Read MoreComments (0)
The big news in the industry last week was the high levels of cadmium found in children’s jewelry, based on an investigation by the Associated Press. Testing of 103 items indicated that 12% of the jewelry contained at least 10% cadmium by weight, with some pieces containing between 84%-91% cadmium. Cadmium is a known carcinogen and, like lead, it can hinder children’s brain development. Unlike... Read MoreComments (0)
In addition to the US toy safety changes brought about by the CPSIA and Europe’s updated Toy Safety Directive, Canada is also proposing some significant changes in their toy safety regulation, the Hazardous Products Act and the associated Hazardous Products (Toys) Regulations. This legislation has not been significantly updated since 1991, and Health Canada is taking a “Stepwise Approach” rather... Read MoreComments (1)
In a flurry of activity at the end of December 2009, the CPSC issued several important notices, many of which have significant impact on product testing and compliance in 2010 and beyond. First came the Commission’s decision to extend the stay of enforcement on testing and certification for many children’s products. The stay of enforcement was due to expire on February 10, 2010 and third party... Read MoreComments (0)
Santa isn’t the only one making lists this time of year. From the “10 Worst Toys” and “Trouble in Toyland” to “TOTY Nominees,” “TAGIE winners,” “The Big Toy Book,” and “NRF’s Top Toys,” it seems that everyone is looking at toys. The bigger question beyond which toys are the most popular, the most innovative, or the “toy of the week” is whether or not they are safe. And are they safer this yea... Read MoreComments (5)
Another provision of the CPSIA, aside from all the new testing and certification requirements, is the establishment of a public database. This database, tentatively titled SaferProducts.gov, is intended to provide a single central location where consumers can go to report product safety incidents, and to search for prior incidents and recalls on products they own or may be thinking about buying. ... Read MoreComments (2)
The CPSC has released their long-awaited draft guidance document regarding CPSIA Testing and Certification, which will be voted on by the Commission. The draft document includes valuable information that will help the industry understand the CPSC’s current position and considerations on a variety of topics, including what constitutes a reasonable testing program, recommended testing frequency, co... Read MoreComments (2)
On October 1, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) launched its new Toy Safety Certification Program® (TSCP) to industry participants. This means that toy companies can apply for certification of their product, and TSCP-certified toys will begin to appear on store shelves next year. The launch comes just over two years since the first meeting of toy industry stakeholders was held, in August 2007,... Read MoreComments (0)
With the Stay of Enforcement scheduled to be lifted on February 10, 2010, all children’s product subject to a CPSC children’s product safety rule will require third party testing and certification. The laboratories performing this testing must be accredited per CPSC requirements. To this end, the CPSC has issued some important information related to test methods and laboratory accreditation requ... Read MoreComments (3)
The CPSC has issued a new testing policy for determining CPSIA phthalate compliance. It is, in my opinion, a more common sense approach than the previous testing policy. As we all know, section 108 of the CPSIA prohibits the sale of children’s toys and child care articles containing more than 0.1% of certain phthalates. In previous guidance issued by the CPSC, the agency had taken the position... Read MoreComments (4)
CPSIA Update - Children's Products Containing Lead; Interpretative Rule on Inaccessible Component Parts
In time for the August 14 anniversary of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the CPSC issued their final interpretative rule on inaccessible component parts. This is important because inaccessible component parts do not have to comply with the lead content limits of CPSIA, and do not need to be tested and certified as to lead content. Accessible component parts and materials, how... Read MoreComments (10)