If one thing became clear this year regarding product responsibility, it’s there will never be a time when suppliers can sit back and sigh in relief that they’ve finally mastered the safety jive everyone’s been talking about. The reason is simple: just when a company feels it’s got its groove down pat, a few new moves get thrown in, the music falls out of time and toes are inevitably squashed. But the beat goes on.
Product-safety education is an ever-evolving quagmire of state and federal legislation, new studies uncovering the next potentially dangerous chemical and pending product recalls. This article is a comprehensive overview of what’s new and what’s changed since 2007. Plus, learn how suppliers have taken the lead regarding product testing, setting a new rhythm for an industry constantly on the move.
There are a few classic hazards currently facing promotional product suppliers. Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, companies should be up-to-date on news regarding the following:
• Lead. The most considerable foe for manufacturers today is no longer flying under the radar, thanks to 2007’s various product-recall controversies. Lead gave both the consumer and promotional product industries a run for their money—literally. As a result of lead-tainted lunch boxes, the $10 million in damages for which promotional supplier T-A Creations was found to be responsible was one of the largest settlements of its kind to date.
And with the passing of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act (H.R. 4040), suppliers will have to take an even closer look at what exactly is going into children’s products. Though California’s Proposition 65 has historically been upheld as the go-to standard for lead, it is merely a warning-label law. The statute decrees a label must be used if the total daily lead intake from a given product exceeds 0.5 micrograms. The freshly minted CPSC Reform Act, on the other hand, will actually address the chemical makeup of products and impose strict limitations on how much lead is allowable.