CPSIA Exemptions: Excerpts with Brent Stone
KR: That touches on something I wanted to specifically ask you. One of the Group A items, that is not exempt, is testing for lead in paint and other surface coatings... doesn't that apply to everything?
BS: I think there's a challenge with these definitions with the paint coating versus the substrate. The reason it was brought up is because you can have situations where a product failed [compliance testing] because of one or the other but not both.
KR: That happened with children's dirt bikes. There were lead components in the engine, which were for the most part inaccessible, but as a result the dirt bikes were considered to be not compliant.
BS: Yeah, there's been a bunch of examples of that. Paint in surface coatings basically means decoration in our industry. One reason that's such a big issue is that when you put something on top of something else, the likelihood of it coming off is greater. The substrate is the structure of the item, and the paint of coating is the decoration, which is going to come off well before the structure comes apart. So you've got to test that anyway, even if you are a small batch manufacturer.
KR: That's what I was assuming. If your product has a logo printed on it, it counts as a surface coating.
BS: Right. So you've got to test that anyway, even if you are a small batch manufacturer. Where this becomes even more complicated is with inks. The ink manufacturers are in compliance, because there is no requirement for them to test. So, we're trying to get them to test their inks, but they respond that they are in compliance. When you look at a whole series of inks they are doing, and then multiple series, you're talking about mid-five figures if not higher to test. So their perspective is, "Why should we do this, you are the only guys asking for it."