Total Lead Content

The limits on lead content in children's products have contributed to a successful effort by all federal health and safety agencies to lower the blood lead level in children. This page provides information for businesses seeking guidance on how to comply with the federal consumer product safety rules on lead.

 

What are the federal requirements limiting the total lead content in children's products?

 

Total Lead Content

With a few limited exceptions explained below, all children's products manufactured after August 14, 2011, must not contain more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of total lead content in accessible parts.

 

Lead in Paint and Similar Surface Coatings

All children's products, including toys, and some furniture, for adult and children, must not contain a concentration of lead greater than 0.009 percent (90 parts per million) in paint or any similar surface coatings. Household paint must also meet this requirement. Please see our webpage on lead in paint and similar surface coatings for information on this requirement.

 

Is third party testing and certification required for the total lead content requirements?

The effective enforcement date for third party testing and certification is January 1, 2012 and applies to products manufactured after December 31, 2011. Remember that compliance with the underlying ban itself is currently required.

 

(For metal components in children's metal jewelry, the effective enforcement date for third party testing and certification was March 23, 2009 for products manufactured after that date.)

 

What are the exceptions?

Metal components of bicycles may not contain more that 300 ppm of total lead content. The lead content limits do not apply to youth sized ATVs and to certain used children's products. However, not all used children's products are exempted from the limits. Used children's metal jewelry with more than 300 ppm lead can never be resold. Likewise, if the reseller knows the product violates the lead content limits it cannot be resold. Generally, a used children's product is one that is either donated to charity or being sold by the user of the product.

 

Where can I learn more?

This page serves as the primary resource for all information related to the limits on total lead content in children's products.

 

Resources

  • Lead Content Limits: Frequently Asked Questions
  • Lead Content Limits: Test Methods
  • Lead Content Limits: Enforcement Policies
    • Extension of the Stay of Enforcement of Testing and Certification Requirements for Total Lead Content in Children's Products Until December 31, 2011.
    • Statement of Commission Enforcement Policy on Section 101 Lead Limits [ PDF ].
    • Interim Enforcement Policy on Component Testing and Certification of Children's Products (December 28, 2009, currently in effect) [ PDF ].

This communication has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is based upon the facts and information presented. This communication does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice and has not been reviewed or approved by the Commission, and does not necessarily represent their views.  Any views expressed in this communication may be changed or superseded by the Commission.