It’s That Time of Year (and I don’t mean the holidays…)


A year ago we extended until February 2011 our stay of enforcement on lead content testing and certification of children’s products. Well, we’re almost there and it’s slated to disappear in six weeks.

Recently, I received an inquiry from a major consumer products manufacturer asking when the commission would be meeting to consider whether to lift or extend this stay of enforcement.  This manufacturer, like many others, did not realize that, absent commission action, the stay will be lifted automatically on February 10, 2011. 

I am concerned that imposing lead testing on the hundreds of thousands of products subject to this requirement raises serious questions at this time.  I am particularly concerned about the very significant issue of economic impact on small manufacturers of children’s products.  In addition, the agency has not yet addressed the availability of XRF technology for lead content testing, which would lessen the economic burden of this requirement.  We have not finalized our policy with respect to frequency and component testing. We are still struggling with a less-than-clear definition of children’s products.  (Witness our about-face on whether glasses with cartoon characters are or are not children’s products and the resulting confusion over the issue.)  We have not yet begun the process of determining how we will deal with the lowering, yet again, of the lead limit scheduled for August, 2011. 

I have asked for a public briefing on lead testing and consideration of a formal commission vote on whether the stay should be extended.  I’ll keep you posted as to whether the Commission will meet to address the stay.

3 Responses to “It’s That Time of Year (and I don’t mean the holidays…)”

  1. 1 Steve Lamar January 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    When the Commission granted the stay more than a year ago, Chairman Tenenbaum wrote “The extension of the stay was needed in order to give the agency more time to promulgate rules important to the continued implementation of the CPSIA and for the agency to educate our stakeholders on the requirements of those new rules.”

    That continues to be the case.

    The 15 month rule (now hopelessly delayed so the name “15 month rule” no longer has any meaning) has yet to be finalized or published. Even if it could be miraculously published this month – and there remain significant concerns with the draft rule – that doesn’t leave the industry much time to learn the rule.

    Using the Commission’s own reasoning behind the granting of the stay in the first place, an extension seems like the ONLY logical thing to do.


  2. 2 Sarah Natividad December 29, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Here’s hoping that Congress takes prompt action to repeal CPSIA (or at least carve it back to something workable), making moot the issue of the lifting of the stay.

  1. 1 Stay of Enforcement: Let’s Decide Already « Conversations with Consumers Trackback on January 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

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