I know it sounds like a crazy question. But with the stroke of the CPSIA pen being so broad it’s an important one to ask. Do the collectibles meant for adults that are plush or dolls fall under the law? What about miniatures? How about jewelry, what’s keeping a child from wearing it? Keep in mind the following is my interpretation of various resources and I’m not a lawyer.
Children’s products defined: A consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger.
“Ok, so my item isn’t primarily intended for children. So, I’m good, right?” Well, sort of. Because you see it’s the CPSC deciding what is and what is not a children’s product, not you as the manufacturer. So you can’t just blindly stick a “Not intended for children under 12” disclaimer on your item and call it a day.
Here are the criteria by which the CPSC will determine if a product is a children’s product:
#1 - A statement by the manufacturer about the intended use of the product, if such a statement is reasonable
#2 - Is the product represented in it’s packaging, display, promotion, or advertising as appropriate for use by children 12 years old or younger
#3 - Is the product commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child 12 or younger
#4 - The Age Determination Guidelines issued by the commission staff in September 2002
#1...means to me that you can say your products isn’t for kids, but if that statement isn’t reasonable, your disclaimer doesn’t matter.
#2...makes sense and should be relatively easy to determine.
#3... seems very subjective to me. Especially relative to miniatures, plush, collectors dolls, etc.
#4... well you can read that fun little 300 pg document here http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/adg.pdf, if you’re so inclined. I was not able to read it before posting about this topic, so I can’t comment on it at this time.
What about art and wall accessories? Their “use” is to look at it, not touch it. And that brings us to the question of “play value”. Well, in terms of children’s products themselves, play value doesn’t matter. It still needs to be tested for lead (Section 101). Where play value DOES matter, is in determining whether it needs to be tested for phthalates (Section 108). So your wall art and decorative accessories are children’s products, but since they have no play value they don’t need to be tested for phthalates.
By the way, the question of art and wall accessories is an interesting one to me because what it written is in direct contradiction with what I was told verbally by the CPSC. Obviously, I have to go with what’s written. Saying “Mr. X told me over the phone this is ok” isn’t going to cut it.
I’m not sure if this information is complete enough to help you determine for yourself whether or not your item will be considered a children’s product. For some of us, it’s obvious. All my products are children’s products and subject to lead testing. And for some of you phthalate testing may also be required, which I didn’t really discuss, but is an important part of the law.
Here’s my sources for this blog post so that you can determine for yourself if your products are “children’s products”: http://www.cpsc.gov/ABOUT/Cpsia/childprodtest.pdf
Tomorrow is my meeting with Congressman Dent. Stay tuned, I'll be discussing that meeting and the XRF testing information I've gathered in some upcoming posts.