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CPSC Issues Policy Paper On Lead Content In Children's Products

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a new policy statement covering the lead content in products used by children. The policy appears to exempt virtually all fabric, both dyed and undyed, from testing and certification requirements. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act requires that products intended for use by children under 12 years of age may not contain more than 300 parts per million of lead. Products that exceed that level are required to be tested by third-party labs and certified as to their lead content. In its announcement, CPSC said: "The law limits our ability to exempt products from the lead content limit, however, we have found that certain products, by their nature, will never exceed the lead content limit, so those products do not need to be tested and do not need certification to show that they comply with the law."

CPSC says textile fabric falls into the exempt category, but the exemption may not apply to after-treatments such as screen printing, transfers, decals or other printing. With respect to final products that may contain a number of components, including some exempt and non-exempt, the commission said it will address that question in a later rulemaking.

October 27, 2009