Toys, Phthalates and Lead
Meeting the Challenge of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
Q. What is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)?
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which went into effect February 10, 2009, is a sweeping new law that impacts a broad spectrum of our economy. From manufacturers of toys to the kids that play with them, everyone is affected in some way—even those who make and donate products to hospitals and charities. There are new rules to be understood and adopted for everyone from the largest global manufacturer to the crafter working in the family workshop to the mom-and-pop shop on the corner. Indeed, all children’s products including toys, books, childcare articles and clothing are covered in different ways by this law, and there are different rules for different products.
Q. What is the first step I should take in addressing this issue?
Do your research first to become as knowledgeable as possible. Check with your suppliers to determine how they are addressing CPSIA requirements in their products. Find out what the government requires manufacturers to provide in terms of certification and testing. There are several useful web sites you can reference. These include:
- The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)
- The Toy Industry Association Inc.
- Polymer Diagnostics Incorporated
Q. How can I be certain the raw materials I buy are compliant?
The timetable for testing, certification and enforcement as outlined on the CPSC web site (see link in adjacent column), generally requires compliance in advance of testing and certification. You should study this timetable carefully and ask your suppliers how and when they are planning to provide certification for the raw materials you purchase to ensure you can meet the CPSIA timetable.
Q. How can I find the right polymer or additive for my needs?
PolyOne has a broad portfolio of sustainable solutions including CPSIA-compliant and non-phthalate compounds and additives that meet the requirements of the Act, without sacrificing performance or processability. These and all PolyOne materials carry our No Surprises PledgeSM, which means that manufacturers can expect the materials PolyOne produces contain only ingredients that conform to legal and regulatory compliance guidelines.
Q. Where can I find testing services for my products and those of my suppliers?
Polymer Diagnostics Inc. (PDI), a wholly owned subsidiary of PolyOne Corp., can test raw materials, compounds and finished goods. Depending on the results, additional analyses can be done to verify findings and insure accuracy, which helps reduce the potential for false positive results. PDI is accredited under ISO 17025 by A2LA (the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation) to perform testing as an independent laboratory body. PDI’s scope of accreditation currently includes plasticizer determination, as well as testing for lead.