If You Sell Promotional Products, Learn to Read a Test Report
You get the idea. Almost none of the reports were for the actual products in our line. Most were outdated and covered mostly European standards.
Bullet point one: If the test isn't for the exact product you're purchasing, it doesn't mean anything. Never mind that the factory says it's made of the same material. If you're purchasing Prime's LT-3290 then the test report needs to say LT-3290. And it should have a picture so you know for sure that the test is for the same product you're ordering.
Bullet point two: The test should be current. The date is critical because the standards have changed. It doesn't help you to have a lead test dated April 2011 if the bag you're buying was manufactured in September. The lead standard in April was 300 ppm. After August 14 it changed to 100 ppm.
Speaking of ppm, that's just a way of expressing a very dilute concentration of a substance. It means one out of a million the way percent means one of a hundred. So lead of 90 ppm means 90 parts out of a million. Bullet point three: Since the number is critical, make sure the test report shows the actual number—not just PASS or FAIL. Without that number you can't tell if the product complies with the current standards in the law. In CPSIA particularly the lead standards have been continually phased down since August 2008.
Bullet point four: Don't assume that the test covers everything. Last year we received a passing test report for a small battery powered stuffed toy. The test passed but the battery compartment wasn't included in the sample tested. After 5,000 pieces were produced we learned that the battery compartment didn't comply and required several thousand dollars of rework. Expensive mistake.