The Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was voted into law in 2008. The CPSIA includes provisions for addressing lead levels, phthalates, toy safety, and durable infant and toddler products through third-party testing and certification. The act provided the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) with significant new regulatory and enforcement tools and enhanced the Consumer Product Safety Act. Laboratories that perform testing activities identified in the act are required to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, by a recognized accreditation body, such as ANAB.
What is the CPSC?
The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products, including children’s toys and cribs, contributed to a 30% decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the last 30 years.
Laboratory Accreditation to CPSC Requirements
A scope of accreditation is issued to accredited laboratories that perform CPSIA testing activities, identifying the specific children’s product testing requirements to which they are accredited. Once laboratory accreditation is granted, the laboratory registers with the CPSC for acceptance into the program and for listing on the CPSC website. There is also a publicly searchable database of reports of injuries and death related to products governed by CPSIA.
In addition to testing children’s products by an accredited laboratory, the products must also comply with all current applicable product safety rules, have a written children’s product certificate, have a general certificate of conformity (where applicable), and have permanent tracking information affixed to the product for traceability purposes. These requirements promote confidence in parents purchasing products for their children that comply with the CPSIA regulations.
Laboratory accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 and the CPSC supplemental program serves many purposes. First, it demonstrates that the laboratory is competent to perform the methods listed on the scope of accreditation and complies with the requirements of the regulation. Second, it ensures that results generated by the laboratory are valid and can be used by manufacturers to confidently make decisions about releasing children’s products to the marketplace. And, lastly, it provides parents piece of mind knowing that the children’s products they are buying are safe for their children to use.