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CPSC to note on Intertek recommendations for testing practices
Nov '09
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a Guidance Document last night to be voted on by the Commission that would adopt recommendations made by Intertek and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) in their petition to the agency last July.

The CPSC's approval of the Guidance Document on Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) testing and certification procedures would codify Intertek and AAFA's recommendations as formal, accepted agency policy. With decades of research and expertise with regards to consumer product safety, Intertek anticipates that successful adoption of these policies will save manufacturers millions while improving reliability of product testing for children's toys, apparel and other childcare items.

The landmark Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) mandates certification and testing requirements. Testing labs, like Intertek, are restricted to test only final finished products for defined safety standards, such as lead paint, under strict Commission implementation policy. Because children's products are often sprayed or painted in small areas, such as in the fingernails of a doll, a large number of finished product samples needed to be provided, destroyed and discarded in the testing process. This represented an enormous cost to manufacturers and related businesses, while also impacting the environment with needless waste.

In response to this dilemma, Intertek and the AAFA asked for formal recognition of three specific test methods to detect lead in paint and other surface coatings. The two groups had requested the CPSC to approve processes of “spray sampling” (painting an entire product with the same color of paint, giving lab workers more surface coating to test), “multiple stamping” (stamping products repeatedly with the same paint or ink appliqué to garner a larger sample), and “finished component testing” (allowing painted buttons, for example, to be tested before they are sewn onto the garment). All three recommendations are currently included in the published Guidance Document to be voted on by the full Commission.

“We believe that the recommendations outlined in our petition represent sound science and good public policy,” said Gene Rider, President of Intertek Consumer Goods, North America. “It is possible to implement CPSIA in ways that both ease the regulatory burden on industry and are environmentally friendly without jeopardizing product safety.”

Intertek Group plc

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