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Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Issues Testing Protocol for Lead Paint


Toy Industry Recommendation for Composite Testing is Accepted

New York, NY . – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released today its new standard testing protocol for analyzing paint and certain painted products to verify lead limits on toys and children’s products defined in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The test method is identified as CPSC-CH-E1003-09, Standard Operating Procedure for Determining Lead (Pb) in Paint and Other Similar Surface Coatings (March 2009).

The Commission’s new protocol includes a provision for composite testing – including both like parts and different parts – as recommended in a March 18, 2009 submission from the Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) Laboratory Testing Technical Working Group.

TIA’s contribution, entitled “Compositing Acceptance Method for Lead in Surface Coatings,” was developed by a task group of laboratory experts that came together to assist and speed the CPSC’s efforts to develop a lead testing protocol that would satisfy requirements of the CPSIA.

As adopted, the Act required the CPSC to begin enforcement of new lead and phthalate standards for children’s products on February 10, 2009. Because the necessary testing and certification requirements did not exist as the lead enforcement implementation deadline approached, the Commission postponed the testing requirement for one year – until February 10, 2010 – to allow time for the development of clear and reasonable guidance. TIA called for the CPSC to move quickly in determining the necessary protocols so that manufacturers and importers would have adequate time to test their products and demonstrate compliance with the law.

The final protocol identifies that composite testing for like parts is appropriate and, in some instances, may be necessary to obtain valid analytical results. It also supports composite testing for different parts, though it cautions that the testing must be done with sufficient care to ensure that samples are not diluted to the point that excessive lead in a single paint would not be detected.

“TIA is pleased that the CPSC has accepted our recommendation that composite testing is an acceptable protocol in the evaluation of lead testing requirements,” said Carter Keithley, TIA president. “We were able to convene an extremely knowledgeable and respected group of laboratory experts to develop input that is based on the most current scientific protocols. This was a truly collaborative effort, and we are pleased with its outcome.”

Members of the TIA task group include representatives of the following laboratories: Specialized Technology Resources, SGS Consumer Testing Services; EMC Inc., Bureau Veritas, CMA Testing NSF International, and Intertek (ITS).


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