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CPSC Excludes Certain Sporting Goods From New Limits on Lead in Children's Products

Section 101(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (“CPSIA”) established that as of February 10, 2009, the limit for lead is 600 parts per million by weight for any part of a children’s product. The limit dropped to 300 ppm on August 14, 2009 and will drop to 100 ppm on August 14, 2011, if technologically feasible.  Under the CPSIA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") has the authority to make determinations that certain commodities or classes of materials or products do not, and, by their nature, will not exceed the lead limits prescribed in Section 101(a). 

On August 18, 2009, the CPSC issued its final rule determining that certain materials do not exceed the lead content limits specified under Section 101(a).  The final rule states that certain naturally occurring materials and certain metals and their alloys inherently do not exceed the lead content limits in Section 101(a) of the CPSIA. However, these findings only apply to a material that is untreated or unadulterated by the addition of materials or chemicals.

As applicable to the sporting goods industry, the CPSC finds that the following materials do not contain lead or contain lead at levels that do not exceed the CPSIA lead limits:

  • Wood
  • Paper and similar materials made from wood or other cellulosic fiber, including, but not limited to, paperboard, linerboard and medium, and coatings on such paper which become part of the substrate.
  • CMYK process printing inks (excluding spot colors, other inks that are not used in CMYK process, inks that do not become part of the substrate under 16 CFR part 1303, and inks used in after-treatment applications, including screen prints, transfers, decals, or other prints)
  • Textiles (excluding after-treatment applications, including screen prints, transfers, decals, or other prints) consisting of:
    • Natural fibers (dyed or undyed) including, but not limited to, cotton, kapok, flax, linen, jute, ramie, hemp, kenaf, bamboo, coir, sisal, silk, wool (sheep), alpaca, llama, goat (mohair, cashmere), rabbit (angora), camel, horse, yak, vicuna, qiviut, guanaco;
    • Manufactured fibers (dyed or undyed) including, but not limited to, rayon, azlon, lyocell, acetate, triacetate, rubber, polyester, olefin, nylon, acrylic, modacrylic, aramid, spandex
  • Other plant-derived and animal-derived materials including, but not limited to, animal glue, bee's wax, seeds, nut shells, flowers, bone, sea shell, coral, amber, feathers, fur, leather

The CPSC staff also found that certain metals and alloys do not to exceed the CPSIA lead limits based on the fact that such materials do not contain lead or contain lead at levels that do not exceed the CPSIA lead limits.

The full text of the final rule can be found here:  http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr09/leaddeterminationsfinalrule-draft.pdf.

How does this affect the sporting goods industry? 

While this may seem like good news for the industry regarding apparel, bats, hockey sticks, gloves and other natural products, please keep in mind that this only applies to those children’s products that are untreated or unadulterated by the addition of materials or chemicals. 

If your children’s products fit into the categories above, then you are not required to comply with the testing requirements of the CPSIA.  But remember, even if the material is excluded under this rule, the product must still comply with the applicable lead limits as provided in Section 101(a) if the product or material is changed or altered so that it exceeds the lead content limits. 

If you have any questions, please contact us or a member of the Legal Task Force. 
 

 

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