Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CPSC releases guidance for Crafters

Well, it's about time! Never mind the fact that the law goes into affect TODAY. I guess we should be happy that it's better late than never.

Here's a link to the document itself. Read it. Seriously. I know I'm gonna break it down a little for you, but you really should read it yourself. http://cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/smbus/cpsiasbguide.html

Questions 1 and 2: Who is a manufacturer? And Am I Affected?
Please read my previous blog post for these answers.

Question 3: What is a children's product?
Again, I addressed this several weeks ago, read my blog on it.

Question 4: Do all children's products require testing? What requirements do I need to meet?
There is an easy to read table on pg. 4 of their document. Review it carefully. At the bottom of pg. 4 there is reference to the Stay of Enforcement in terms of the GCC (general conformity certificate) requirement. You can read more about GCCs here on my blog

Question 5: For testing and certification of children’s products that are required now (for example, lead paint and small parts), what do I need to do?
It states that XRF testing can be used for total lead content and lead paint. Previously I understood that lead paint was required to undergo the mandatory 3rd party testing. The statement isn't all that clear, it can be used but not as a replacement?

Here's the actual statement, "For lead paint and lead content, an X‐Ray Fluorescence (XRF) machine (used by a trained, qualified person) is a possible method to determine if a component has lead, but note that XRF is not a replacement for a third–party test. " (pg.5)

You can note my choice of trained, qualified person is the company Essco Safety Check, you can see my experience with them in this blog post.

Question 6: If I make multiple units of the same thing, do I have to have every single product tested?
Simple answer: No. But if you change your design or materials, then maybe. This is not good news for the OOAK folks. More clarification may be needed on this point from the CPSC for some. But based on my reading, I beleive I have a good grasp of the spirit and intention of this statement and feel that I can appropriately apply it to my items.

Question 7: When testing and certification are not yet required (for example, lead content and phthalates), what do I need to do?
Again, reference is made to the Stay of Enforcement indicating testing and certification are not necessary until 2/10/10. But you are encouraged to "get to know your product". This can include learning about your components through your suppliers (MSDS sheets) and XRF testing.

Question 8: Are there exemptions/exclusions to meeting the lead content limits?
They're working on it. These are the natural materials exemptions that are not yet finalized but have been on the table for some time now.

-Precious gemstones: diamond, ruby, sapphire or emeralds
-Semiprecious stones provided that the mineral or material is not based on lead and is not associated with any mineral based on ead
-Natural or cultured pearls
-Other natural materials including coral, amber, feathers, fur, and untreated leather
-Surgical steel
-Gold, of at least 10 karats
-Silver, at least 925/1000 pure
-Platinum, palladium, rhodium, osmium, iridium, and ruthenium
-Yarn, dyed or undyed
-Dyed or undyed textiles (cotton, wool, hemp, nylon, etc.), including children’s fabric products, such as baby blankets, and non‐metallic thread and trim. This does not include products that have rhinestones or other ornaments that may contain lead or that have fasteners with possble lead content (such as buttons, metal snaps, zippers or grommets).
-Children’s books printed after 1985 that are conventionally printed and intended to be read, as opposed to used for play
-Certain educational materials, such as chemistry sets

Question 9: What do I do if I learn that one of the products I make or sell does not comply with the lead limits, phthalate limits or toy standards?
Tell the CPSC immediately.

Questions 10-12: Phthalates
I have avoided phthalates on my blog for the most part. And this one won't be any different. I'll be doing a blog post on phthalates in the near future, so I'm not going to address it now.

Question 13: Donations
They're just like everything else. If you are using one of the exempted materials, you don't have to test it. If you're not, you do.

Questions 14-17: Resale and Vintage
Resale has gotten a LOT of attention. This document is consistant with the guidance provided previously as well as reiterating the exemption from testing and certification for resale shops.

Questions 18-19: Bikes and Enforcement stuff
I'm skipping these questions too, they're clear enough I think.

One really important thing, I've been seeing a few comments saying, "but they didn't address this or that". There is simply no way they can address every possible product on the planet individually. That is an unreasonable expectation. You will have to use your own common sense and deductive reasoning to apply these guidelines to your business and to your product lines. With some exception, I beleive there is enough information here about the testing for most people to be able to determine what is expected of them at this point.

We should all still be working toward changes to the law. Next year on this date, many people will still be forced otu of business if the testing requirements are not amended.

If you read my blog today, you qualify for a discount on any pre-made mobile in my Etsy Shop. In honor of this February 10, 2009, a significant date in CPSIA history, you can get 20% off the purchase price (not including shipping) on any mobile that is ready to be shipped. Just write "I Read the BuggaBlog" in the "message to seller" and I will refund your 20% promptly through Paypal. Offer only good on February 10th, 2009.