The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) prepared the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSIA) in 2009. CPSC used the regulations to improve toy standards by reducing lead content and phthalates in toys. The regulations which took effect in February 2009 set the limits on the total lead content in toys to 600 parts per million (ppm). The new rules placed an interim ban on some phthalates in specific children’s toys and established a mandatory toy standard ASTM F963-07.
CPSC defines children’s toys as any products designed for children under 12 years. Since the act took effect, it is now illegal to sell any product or part of a product that contains anything more than 600ppm of lead content. These levels were to be lowered to 300ppm and later to 100ppm pending a technological feasibility study.
Retailers were not required to certify compliance for products in inventory at the time. Resellers were however required to avoid products that were likely to contain lead levels above the new limit. Failure to take caution could attract civil or criminal charges. CPSIA required domestic manufacturers and toy importers were required to issue conformity certificates based on their independent testing of the toys. The certificate would be used as guarantee that the product met the new requirements and that it was safe for use in the American toy market.
The CPSIA act illegalized the sale of recalled products. CPSC is mandated by law to recall all toys that it deems unsafe for the US market. A recall is a systematic process of removing products that have failed the required safety tests from the market. These potentially hazardous products are sent back to the manufacturer who is also advised to stop further production and distribution. Many recalls occur after several incidences of death or accidents associated with the product being recalled. CPSIA proffered both criminal and civil penalties on anyone found selling recalled products.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Lead content, Toy Standards, and Phthalates regulations to take effect in Early February. 2009.