CPSC Seeks Information on Materials Compliant with Heavy Metals and Phthalate Standards

April 16, 2013 | The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a Federal Register Notice today (April 16) seeking information on materials that are compliant with heavy metal and phthalate standards; the information will guide CPSC consideration of which materials may in the future be exempted from third party testing to those particular standards. The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is currently soliciting information from members to be incorporated into an industry response to the Notice; members are also encouraged to respond directly to the CPSC during the 60 day comment period, which is open through June 17, 2013.

The Request for Information (RFI) announced today reflects a
briefing package approved last fall directing CPSC staff to issue RFIs on opportunities to reduce the cost of third party testing. 

The data collected through this RFI will be used to determine which materials do not contain any of the eight prohibited elements regulated in ASTM F963 (antimony, arsenic, barium, chromium, cadmium, lead, mercury, and / or selenium) and / or six prohibited phthalates (DBP, BBP, DEHP, DnOP, DINP, and/or DIDP) – and therefore might warrant exemption from third party testing requirements. The Commission is also collecting data on materials, such as composite wood products, that do not / will not contain the prohibited elements or chemicals in concentrations above their applicable maximum limit.

Any data provided should include as much of the following information as is available:
  • The chemicals and raw materials used in manufacturing the material and their concentrations of lead, phthalates or other heavy metals;
  • The extent to which recycled materials are used therefore potentially affecting the concentration of the chemical content;
  • The manufacturing processes and conditions used that could result in a significant variation in chemical concentration;
  • The possibility of variations among manufacturers in the materials and manufacturing processes used;
  • How compliance can be assured without third party testing;
  • How to meet the burden of demonstrating that such a material does not, and will not, contain the restricted element or chemical in concentrations above its maximum limit;
  • Other relevant information.

Members who wish to provide comments to be included in TIA’s response to the RFI are encouraged to contact Rebecca Mond, TIA director of federal government affairs (202-459-0352) and / or to submit comments directly to the CPSC by following the submittal instructions contained within the Federal Register Notice.

TIA will lead a conference call on Wednesday, April 17 at 1 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss this topic; members who wish to participate in the call are invited to contact Rebecca Mond for dial-in information.

TIA is reminding industry stakeholders that regardless of any potential future exemption from the testing requirements, all materials will still need to be compliant with the underlying chemical standards.