CPSC Extends Stay of Enforcement for Lead Content Testing, Certification in Children’s Products

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 4-1 on Jan. 31, 2011 to extend the stay of enforcement for testing and certification of lead content in children’s products (except for metal components of children’s metal jewelry) until Dec. 31, 2011.

Starting on Dec. 31, 2011, manufacturers and importers of children’s products that are subject to the lead content limit must have the appropriate certificates that indicate that their products have been tested by a CPSC-approved third party laboratory, in order for their products to be sold in the United States.

Despite the stay of enforcement on testing and certification, manufacturers, importers and retailers of children’s products must continue to comply with the federal restrictions for total lead content. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) requires that all children’s products have no more than 300 parts per million (ppm) of lead content. The lead content limit will drop to 100 ppm on Aug. 14, 2011, unless CPSC determines that it is not technologically feasible to establish this lower limit for a product or product category. The CPSIA also establishes a limit of 90 ppm for lead in paint and surface coatings.

The stay of enforcement does not apply to the 90 ppm limit on lead in paint and surface coatings or to the current 300 ppm limit on lead content in metal components of children’s jewelry. Certification based on third party testing is currently required for children’s products in these categories.

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