Product Safety Commission petitioned for more sensible testing practices

Current testing practices cost manufacturers millions of dollars to comply. New testing recommendations are said to significantly reduce costs and maintain test reliability.
July 14, 2009

Intertek and the Ammerican Apparely and Footwear Association (AAFA) jointly submitted a petition to

formally request that the Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC approve certain

lab testing procedures to determine the presence of lead paint on toys and

other children’s products. The two groups maintain that these methods will

save manufacturers millions of dollars without any loss of test reliability.

Since the enactment of the landmark Consumer Product Safety

Improvement Act of 2008, some assert that the law only allows testing labs like

Intertek to test final, finished products to mandatory safety standards,

including the ban on lead paint. Because some products may have only a small

area of paint (like the fingernails on a doll or painted buttons on a child’s

garment), this interpretation requires the destruction of an unnecessarily

large number of product samples, since the paint must be scraped from the

samples, rendering them unusable. These samples–sometimes several hundred per

product–are then discarded. This represents a huge cost to manufacturers, which

discourages companies from testing and needlessly impacts the environment with

discarded samples.

Specifically, the two groups have requested the agency

recognize the acceptability of “spray sampling” (painting an entire

product with the same color paint, giving lab workers more surface coating to

test), “multiple stamping” (stamping products repeatedly with the

same paint or ink applique to garner a larger sample) and “finished

component testing,” allowing painted buttons, for example, to be tested

before they are sewn onto a garment rather than destroying the finished garment

during testing.

Read these other Control Engineering product safety-related

articles

• Businesses speak out against terms in consumer product

safety act

• Electrical

product safety: Are testing labs needed or is a supplier’s declaration enough?

– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering
News Desk