2011 Year in Review: Product Safety
FDA Passes New Sunscreen Regulation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new standards for the labeling of sunscreen products in June. These new standard would require all sunscreen to include additional information on the packaging, stating whether is protected against ultraviolet A (UVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, or both. Manufacturers would have one or two years from June 15, the date the regulations were announced, to comply. The new regulations posed a greater problem for the promotional products industry; even though many industry suppliers already make sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB, the laws require displaying additional information on the packaging which takes up precious imprint area on promotional products.
CPSIA Lead Limits Reformed, Enforcement Begins
As originally drafted, CPSIA required manufacturers to reduce lead limits on toys to 300 ppm by August 2009, and 100 ppm by August 2011, unless it could be proven that such limits were not technologically feasible. Following recommendations from staffers, the CPSC found such limits were feasible and voted to enforce them on July 14. After an outcry from manufacturers, a bill was introduced by Representative Bono Mack (R-CA), which removed some of the more onerous requirements, such as one that would make the 100 ppm limit retroactive and another that would prevent resale of items. The bill was passed by both houses of congress in early August, and President Obama would sign the reform bill on Friday, August 12, just days before the three year anniversary of CPSIA. Enforcement on the new limits, with the reforms implemented, began Sunday, August 14, 2011.
PPAI Holds First Annual Product Safety Summit
Occurring the second week in August, just before the enforcement of CPSIA began, PPAI held the promotional product industry's first annual Product Safety Summit. Held in tandem with the association's North American Leadership Conference, the summit brought together members of the CPSC with members of the promotional industry to discuss how product safety and compliance affects business and what can be done about it. Highlights included a keynote speech from Alibaba.com general manager Annie Xu and the unveiling of PPAI TurboTest. The 2012 Product Safety Summit will be held in New Orleans, August 14-15.