On August 14, 2009, new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) will take effect that are aimed at making children’s products safer and increasing consumer confidence in the marketplace. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is educating domestic and overseas manufacturers, importers, and distributors of children’s products and other consumer goods of these important new safety requirements.
CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said the CPSIA’s new requirements will help protect families and she urged businesses to comply. “I will ensure that these requirements are enforced vigorously and fairly,” said Tenenbaum. “By ensuring that toys and other children’s products meet strict lead limits and can be tracked in the event of a recall, I believe children will be better protected in their homes.”
The requirements that become effective on August 14 include:
- Lead Content
The limit for lead in children’s products drops from 600 parts per million (ppm) to 300 ppm. After August 14, it will be unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, or offer for sale, a children’s product that has more than 300 ppm of lead in any part (except electronics) that is accessible to children.
- Lead in Paint and Similar Surface Coating Materials
The limit for lead in paint and similar surface-coating materials for consumer use drops from 600 ppm to 90 ppm. The lead paint limits also apply to toys and other articles intended for children as well as certain furniture products. Products subject to these limits cannot be sold, offered for sale, imported or manufactured after August 14 unless they meet the new lower lead limits.
- Civil Penalties
Civil penalties increase substantially to a maximum of $100,000 per violation and up to a maximum of $15 million for a related series of violations. Previously, civil penalties were a maximum of $8,000 per violation and up to a maximum of $1.825 million for a related series of violations.
- Tracking Labels
Manufacturers must place permanent distinguishing marks (tracking label) on any consumer product primarily intended for children 12 and younger made on or after August 14, 2009. The permanent marks must enable consumers to ascertain basic information, including the manufacturer or private labeler, location, the date of manufacture, and more detailed information on the manufacturing process such as a batch or run number. The permanent distinguishing marks must appear on the product itself and its packaging to the extent practicable. Learn more about the tracking label requirement at www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/sect103.html#faqs
- Catalog Advertising
Advertising for certain toys and games intended for use by children from three to six years old must have warnings regarding potential choking hazards to children younger than three. The requirement to include warnings in Internet advertisements went into effect on December 12, 2008. There was a grace period for the requirement for catalogues and other printed materials, but this grace period expired August 9, 2009. All catalogues and other printed materials distributed on or after August 9, 2009, regardless of when they were printed, must include the appropriate warnings.
Visit CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html for more information about the agency’s successful implementation of the CPSIA.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.