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CPSIA amendment passes U.S. Congress and waits for president's signature

By Tim Kidwell
Published: August 3, 2011

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed an amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, and now it awaits President Obama’s signature.

The bill, HR 2715, provides relief to companies that make toys and other children’s products (such as clothes and bicycles) concerning regulations pertaining to lead, phthalates and third-party testing.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently voted to reduce lead content limits in children’s products from 300ppm to 100ppm. The new limit goes into effect on Aug. 14, 2011. The amendment clarifies that the new limit applies to products made after the effective date of the rule, not before. It also lifts the lead limits on “used children’s products” and exempts or provides alternate regulations for ATVs, dirt bikes, bicycles and publications like books and magazines.

Inaccessible parts of a product are now exempt from the phthalate standard and the CPSC has been tasked with providing guidance as to what is considered inaccessible within a year of the amendment’s adoption.

One of the biggest complaints with the CPSIA was the requirement for third-party testing and what the additional costs meant for small businesses. With the amendment, the CPSC must seek public comment on ways to reduce the costs of testing, particularly regarding redundant tests. Small batch manufacturers (those companies with no more than $1 million in gross sales and who made 10,000 units or less of the same product in the previous calendar year) are eligible for testing exceptions or exemptions.