Thursday, February 19, 2009

CPSC Newsletter

Check out this link to the CPSC Newsletter. It is very interesting.

Click Here

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Michael Miller Fabrics - CPSIA Safe

Here is a link to the letter sent out by Michael Miller Fabrics certifying CPSIA compliant fabrics.

Click Here

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Now that it's February 10th, do I have to stop selling children's Items that have not been tested for lead?

A: No, not at all. Before you start throwing your toys on the bonfire or hanging up your knitting needles, please understand that the CPSIA does not make it illegal to sell children's products. So what happens today? As of today, the new legal lead limit for products intended for children 12 years and younger has been reduced to 600ppm. On August 14th, 2009, the legal limit will drop to 300ppm. The new legal limit for Phthalates is 0.1% of the total weight of a children's product.

Q. What the heck are phthalates?

Phthalates are particularly nasty substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility.

Q. Do I need to have my goods tested by a third party testing facility?

At this point, manufacturers do not need to have third party testing or lead-free certification for their products, but are liable if their products contain more than the legal limit of lead or phthalates. This remains the case until February 10th, 2010. We are not yet sure what will happen one year from now. (Keep the pressure on!)

Q. Ok, I understand that my products do not need to have third party testing or certification at this point, but I know that I am also still liable. I want to make sure my items are safe for children because this is the right thing to do! How can I assure that my products do not have lead in them?


  • Work in materials that you know are lead free.
  • Avoid zippers and other fasteners that may contain lead. Instead, use wood buttons or other natural materials.
  • Look to less expensive home testing technologies, especially XRF. Pool resources with other sellers in your area and test together to save money.

Q. What materials are recognized as lead-free by the CPSC?

The following materials are known by the CPSC to be inherently lead-free or are exempt, and can be used in their untreated/unpainted state without any risk of sanction or penalties by the Commission.

  • Precious gemstones: diamond, ruby, sapphire or emeralds
  • Semiprecious stones provided that the mineral or material is not based on lead and is not associated with any mineral based on lead
  • Natural or cultured pearls
  • Wood
  • Other natural materials including coral, amber, feathers, fur, and untreated leather
  • Surgical steel
  • Gold, of at least 10 karats
  • Silver, at least 925/1000 pure
  • Platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium, iridium, and ruthenium
  • Yarn, dyed or undyed
  • Dyed or undyed textiles (cotton, wool, hemp, nylon, etc.), including children’s fabric products, such as baby blankets, and non‐metallic thread and trim. This does not include products that have rhinestones or other ornaments that may contain lead or that have fasteners with possible lead content (such as buttons, metal snaps, zippers or grommets).
  • Children’s books printed after 1985 that are conventionally printed and intended to be read, as opposed to used for play
  • Certain educational materials, such as chemistry sets

The Commission has also provided limited exclusions for products containing component parts that contain lead in excess of the 600ppm limit, specifically:

  • Components that are not accessible, that is cannot be reached by a small child’s finger or tongue. Paint and other coatings or electroplating are not considered barriers that make a component inaccessible.
  • Components of electronics devices intended for children that cannot be made inaccessible and cannot currently be made with a lead level that meets the limit.

Q. I am outside of the United States. Does the CPSIA apply to me?

A: Yes. If you are selling products to customers in the USA, you must be fully compliant with the CPSIA.

Q. Where do things stand for vintage sellers?

Vintage sellers are not required to test their products for lead and phthalates. However, you are liable should the products you sell be over the legal limits.

Further Resources:

- For more info, read the CPSC Small Business Guide or download the PDF.

- The Consumer Product Safety Commission is in charge of implementation and enforcement of the CPSIA. Visit their CPSIA landing page.

- You can sign up for CPSC email updates here.

- Keep informed on CPSC updates here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Great News for Crafters!

The CPSC has granted a 1 year stay on the new CPSIA law. They feel as though they need more time to amend the law. Attached is the press release:

CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously (2-0) to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

Significant to makers of children’s products, the vote by the Commission provides limited relief from the testing and certification requirements which go into effect on February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600 ppm), phthalates limits for certain products (1000 ppm), and mandatory toy standards, among other things. Manufacturers and importers – large and small – of children’s products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The decision by the Commission gives the staff more time to finalize four proposed rules which could relieve certain materials and products from lead testing and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.

The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010, at which time a Commission vote will be taken to terminate the stay.

The stay does not apply to:

  • Four requirements for third-party testing and certification of certain children’s products subject to:

    • The ban on lead in paint and other surface coatings effective for products made after December 21, 2008;

    • The standards for full-size and non full-size cribs and pacifiers effective for products made after January 20, 2009;

    • The ban on small parts effective for products made after February 15, 2009; and

    • The limits on lead content of metal components of children’s jewelry effective for products made after March 23, 2009.

  • Certification requirements applicable to ATV’s manufactured after April 13, 2009.

  • Pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements, including for: automatic residential garage door openers, bike helmets, candles with metal core wicks, lawnmowers, lighters, mattresses, and swimming pool slides; and

  • Pool drain cover requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates.

The stay of enforcement on testing and certification does not address thrift and second hand stores and small retailers because they are not required to test and certify products under the CPSIA. The products they sell, including those in inventory on February 10, 2009, must not contain more than 600 ppm lead in any accessible part. The Commission is aware that it is difficult to know whether a product meets the lead standard without testing and has issued guidance for these companies that can be found on our Web site.

The Commission trusts that State Attorneys General will respect the Commission's judgment that it is necessary to stay certain testing and certification requirements and will focus their own enforcement efforts on other provisions of the law, e.g. the sale of recalled products.

Please visit the CPSC Web site at for more information on all of the efforts being made to successfully implement the CPSIA.