CPSC acts to lower lead limits in kids' products
CPSC chemist Joanne Patry
talks about testing products for
lead during the recent open
house for CPSC's new testing

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that a lead content of 100 parts per million (ppm) is technologically feasible for children's furniture and toys.

The agency voted 3-2 that there is insufficient evidence that children's products sold in the United States could not meet the new regulated lead limits. This means the new total lead content limit called for in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), will go into effect as planned on Aug. 14, 2011 for manufacturers, importers, retailers and distributors of children’s products. CPSC has said it will not enforce the CPSIA’s independent third party testing requirement for total lead content until Dec. 31, 2011, due to a stay of enforcement that is already in place.

Congress had directed CPSC to phase in the reduced levels for lead content over a three year period, starting with 600 ppm on Feb. 10, 2009. The level dropped to 300 ppm on Aug. 14, 2009. Finally, Congress directed the total lead content limit be set at 100 ppm, unless the Commission determined it was not technologically feasible for a product or product category.

The new 100 ppm lead content limit does not apply to inaccessible (internal) parts of children’s products and certain component parts of children’s electronic devices, like electronic connectors and plugs, including headphone plugs.

Lead content levels for children’s products are different from the levels Congress set for lead in paint or surface coatings. The limit for lead in paint or surface coatings is 0.009 percent.

Posted by Karen Koenig

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