Next Thursday, April 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the CPSC staff will host a workshop on certain ways to reduce unnecessary third-party testing costs. The staff’s focus is on identifying materials that shouldn’t have to be tested for phthalates, lead, mercury, arsenic or a handful of other heavy metals. You can watch the workshop presentations live on our website or attend in person at our lab in Rockville, Maryland. You can find more information on the workshop and register to attend here.
Easing the costs of third-party testing is a clear priority of the U.S. Congress. In 2011, Congress directed the Commission to explore ways to reduce testing costs. After reviewing public comments, our staff highlighted more than a dozen different proposals as worthy of consideration. That was over 18 months ago, but the Commission still has not approved any actual cost-saving ideas.
Although stakeholders are understandably frustrated by the pace of our effort, this workshop is another opportunity to make some progress in cutting unnecessary test costs. The Federal Register notice announcing the workshop provides helpful information on the staff’s thinking and frames important questions for your consideration and input. They ask for your help in setting priorities for the staff and emphasize the types of information needed to make useful determinations. I hope that all stakeholders will review these materials and bring us your ideas at the workshop or in comments afterwards. I plan to continue pressing for real testing relief as Congress expected.