US CPSC Public Meetings on Lead and XRF Technolog
Highlights of the Meetings:
A. XRF technology can be used by manufacturers to issue a general certificate of conformity for lead content. However, wet chemistry will be required when 3rd party testing becomes mandatory in August of 2009.
B. Electronic certificates will be accepted in the form of a unique identifier that accompanies the shipment and allows the CPSC reasonable access (through a URL) to access the certificates.
C. The scope of 16 CFR 1303 has now been clearly defined. It includes paint (sold in the can) for use in the household and surface coatings of children's toys, other articles intended for use by children and furniture items (beds, bookcases, etc.).
- Previously defined under FHSA as combination of behaviour and extractability (example: contact of hand with a product and the transfer via hand to mouth contact, frequency of contact to reach the No Significant Risk Level [NSRL])
- Now under CPSIA - it is defined purely by physical contact with a component
E. Industry Outcry:
- Industry is calling for the CPSC to alter their stance to have products in inventory be compliant to lead content and phthalate requirements in February 2009.
- Industry is also calling on the CPSC to allow component testing (buttons, zippers, etc.) as the burden/cost/feasibility of submitting finished product is great.
F. The CPSC sought input from electronic industry about presence and accessibility of lead in electronic components for formulating exemptions by rule.
Acting Chairman Nancy Nord has stated:
a) Electronic certificates may be used if:
- the CPSC has reasonable access to the certificates;
- reasonable access can be achieved through the use of a unique identifier that can be accessed through a URL (web address);
- the electronic certificate must contain all the required information;
- it will be considered furnished to importers and retailers if they also have reasonable access to the electronic certificate;
- the electronic certificate must also be based on a reasonable testing program.
Brief Overview of Section 101 (Lead) - Lorie E. Saltzman:
I. Lead Paint
a) The scope of 16 CFR 1303
- includes paint (sold in the can) for use in the household and surface coatings of children's toys, other articles intended for use by children and furniture items (beds, bookcases, etc.)
- The furniture items include adult as well as children furniture; however it does not include appliances - such as refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, etc.
II. Lead Content
a) Lead content limit is per component not product.
b) What is inaccessible?
- Any part of a children's product that is not accessible through use and abuse
- Paint, coatings and electroplating are not considered a barrier. Substrates covered by coatings, paint or electroplating will be considered accessible
- The CPSC did not offer any clarification regarding the age gap that exists between the use and abuse testing listed in 16 CFR 1500.51-53 (up to 8 year olds) and use and abuse testing for a children's product (12 years and younger)
- CPSC will issue guidance on accessibility by August of 2009
c) If CPSC determines that it is not technologically feasible for certain electronic devices (including devices with batteries) to meet lead limits, it will by regulation issue:
- Requirements to eliminate or reduce potential exposure and accessibility
- A schedule for achieving full compliance, unless the Commission determines full compliance is not possible on a set schedule
- Periodic review of regulation will take place no less than every 5 years
Overview of lead content test methods - Dr. Joel Recht:
- Methods for digestion of various materials (metal, plastic, fabric, ceramic, glass) will be published by the CPSC for lead content analysis
- For determination of total lead in children's metal jewelry, the method used will be Part I, Screening Test for Total Lead (NOT Part II, Acid Extraction Test)
- Study is underway to evaluate effectiveness, precision, and reliability of XRF for measuring lead in paint to determine compliance with 16 CFR 1303
XRF manufacturers demonstrated their technology and equipment as being capable of lead paint and lead content analysis for compliance to CPSIA.
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