The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted unanimously to delay for one year enforcement of testing and certification requirements concerning lead content and phthalates in products intended for kids 12 and under. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was passed last year in the wake of reports of high lead content in toys, most of which were imported from
The tests, which cost in the neighborhood of $3,500 per item and often add weeks to the process of getting products to market (something that can be a real hardship for companies producing licensed products based on movies and TV shows), can create real hardships for smaller companies producing toys, games, and trading cards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has yet to decide whether or not ink on paper or ink on board books, which typically contain much less lead than the stringent 600 parts per million allowed under the new legislation, will be exempted from the Act. If books are not exempted, the testing requirements could prove to be a major headache for publishers as well.
The CSPC’s one-year delay means that manufacturers and importers do not have to test or certify the products that they import or make, but it does not exempt those products from meeting the standards set by the new act.