CPSC Votes on Testing Cost Reduction

October 15, 2012 | Last week, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) unanimously approved a staff briefing package focusing on opportunities to reduce the cost of third party testing under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

The briefing package was developed in response to requirements in the Amendment to the CPSIA (Public Law 112-28) approved in August 2011; recommendations included in the document were developed following a call for public comment and included numerous suggestions received from industry. Input provided by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) addressed a broad range of topics, such as recognizing equivalency of U.S. and EU toy standards; developing a list of materials known not to contain phthalates; and developing a list of materials that would not contain the eight heavy metals listed in the ASTM F963 toy safety standard.

Along with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, TIA sent a letter to the Commission urging the approval of the staff package as written.

During last week’s hearing, the proposed briefing package was amended to incorporate language that would direct staff to issue Requests of Information (RFIs) from industry on many of the recommendations rather than implementing them directly using Staff resources. It includes the following: 
  • Recognition of equivalency of international standards (direct staff to write RFI)
  • Determinations regarding products that would not contain the eight heavy metals listed in ASTM F963 (direct staff to write RFI)
  • Determinations regarding products that would not contain the banned phthalates (direct staff to write RFI)
  • Further study of phthalates screening testing methodology
  • Determination that composite wood products will not contain over 100ppm of lead (direct staff to write RFI)
  • Allowances for synthetic food additives (direct staff to write RFI)
  • Guidance for periodic testing and testing plans
  • Accreditation of bodies outside of International Standards Organization (ISO) 

"We are encouraged by these first important steps by the Commission to provide relief from the costs of third party testing, which can be especially burdensome for small businesses,” said Ed Desmond, TIA EVP of external affairs. “TIA will continue to urge the agency to look for ways to reduce testing costs and will be drafting responses to the RFIs as necessary.”

TIA members will be kept apprised of any developments.