CPSC Withdraws Rule to Amend Testing Requirements for Children's Products
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has withdrawn its recent ruling that toys made from unfinished and untreated wood could be exempt from certain product testing. We previously reported that this rule was set to go into effect on Sept. 15, unless the public comment period yielded significant adverse reaction.
Now, after receiving significant public reaction, the commission reversed its claim that unfinished and untreated wood does not contain heavy elements (antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lad, mercury and selenium) that would exceed the limits laid out in the CPSC's toy safety rule, ASTM F963-11, effective Sept. 10.
The commission said in a statement that manufacturers and importers must test toys described in the rule at a CPSC-approved laboratory. The rule states that certain toys cannot contain more than the specified limits of the eight heavy elements listed above.
The rule states: "Thus, toys subject to ASTM F963-11, the current mandatory version of the standard, must be tested by a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body, and demonstrate compliance with all applicable CPSC requirements for the manufacturer to issue a Children's Product Certificate ('CPC') before the toys can be entered into commerce."
The rule also explained that for some materials, the concentration of the eight heavy metals might always be below the limit, due to biological or manufacturing constraints.
"For example, one of the specified elements may be sequestered in a portion of a plant, such as the roots, that is not used in textile manufacturing," the rule said. "Additionally, a manufacturing process step may remove a specified element, if the element is present, from the material being processed. For these materials, compliance with the limits stated in section 4.3.5 of ASTM F963-11 is assured without requiring third-party testing because the material is intrinsically compliant."
The CPSC will address the comments that led to the withdrawal in a separate final action, and will not institute a second comment period.