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CPSC Moves to Exempt Unfinished/Untreated Trunk Wood in Toys from Heavy Metal Testing

Friday, July 17, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a direct final rule determining that unfinished and untreated trunk wood does not contain heavy elements that would exceed the limits specified in the Commission’s toy standard, ASTM F963-11. Based on this determination, which is being issued as part of ongoing efforts to reduce testing burdens, unfinished and untreated trunk wood in toys does not require third-party testing for the heavy element limits in that standard.

Toys subject to mandatory standard ASTM F963-11, Consumer Safety Specifications for Toy Safety, must be tested by a CPSC-accepted third-party conformity assessment body and demonstrate compliance with all applicable CPSC requirements for the manufacturer to issue a children’s product certificate before the toys can be entered into commerce. Among other things, this standard requires that surface coating materials and accessible substrates of toys that can be sucked, mouthed or ingested comply with the solubility limits on eight heavy elements – antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and selenium.

The CPSC previously determined that certain materials do not exceed lead content limits, and therefore those materials do not require third-party testing when used in children’s products.  With respect to the seven remaining heavy elements, the CPSC has determined that unfinished and untreated trunk wood does not contain these elements in concentrations above their maximum solubility limits. However, the literature reviewed did not provide sufficient information to determine that any of the reviewed materials, other than unfinished and untreated wood, do not contain the heavy elements in concentrations above the limits stated in the toy standard.

The direct final rule will enter into force Sept. 15 unless the CPSC receives significant adverse comment by Aug. 17. If adverse comment is received, the CPSC will move forward with a parallel notice of proposed rulemaking (input on that proposal may also be submitted by Aug. 17).

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