April 10, 2014

I attended the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (“CPSC” or “Commission”) Workshop on Potential Ways to Reduce Third Party Testing Costs Through Determinations Consistent with Assuring Compliance (“Workshop”) on April 3, 2014. The Workshop was the latest of many efforts to allow stakeholders an opportunity to provide CPSC staff with information and evidence that certain materials, regardless of their manufacturing origin or process, will comply with the applicable content or solubility limits of applicable children’s product safety rules with a high degree of assurance without mandating third party testing.  I was thoroughly impressed with the CPSC staff’s preparedness and presentation and pleased to have members of the regulated community discuss those determinations they thought would provide industry the greatest relief consistent with assuring compliance.

As the CPSC staff mentioned several times during the Workshop, our record remains open and submissions on this issue will be accepted at www.regulations.gov until April 17, 2014 (Docket CPSC-2011-0081). From listening to the presentations, there are three areas in particular in which I hope the regulated community will provide specific data to help the Commission make a determination as to whether there are materials that should be exempt from third party testing.

  1. We heard several times that certain rigid plastics will not contain phthalates because it would compromise the plastic’s rigidity.  Please provide relevant data and research (articles, scientific journals, etc.) that supports or refutes the position that a rigid plastic with a Shore A Hardness of 90 or greater does not and will not contain any prohibited phthalates above its allowed content limit of 0.1 percent, and thus, would not require third party testing. 
  2. We also heard that there may be no lead in manufactured woods either intentionally or unintentionally, because the only additions to manufactured wood are glue and resin, there are limited suppliers of glue and none of those suppliers use lead in their glue, and the resin supply is under tight control by other state and federal regulators.  Please provide data and research:
    1. that supports an industry definition of manufactured woods (and any other applicable terms) and
    2. that supports or refutes the position that adhesives used in manufactured woods do not and will not contain lead in amounts above 100 ppm.
  3. While the makers of unfinished wood toys are exempt from lead testing, they must still test for the eight elements specified in section 4.3.5 of ASTM F963-11.  Please provide data and research that illustrates why and how it is that unfinished wood toys do not, and will not, contain higher-than-allowed soluble concentrations of any of the eight elements specified in section 4.3.5 of ASTM F963-11.

When supplying these data, please define the scope of the data provided and state whether there are conflicting data. I encourage members of the affected industries to work together to find a broad spectrum of data to provide to us that specifically respond to these inquiries. Our goal is to receive research and data needed to reduce third party testing requirements while still assuring compliance with all applicable consumer product safety rules, bans, standards, or regulations.  Thank you for working with the Commission on this important endeavor.