CPSC issues decision to extend an existing “stay of enforcement” on total lead content in children’s products.

The CPSC announced its decision to extend the existing stay of enforcement on testing and certifications of the total lead content in children’s products (except for metal components of children’s metal jewelry) until September 14, 2011, at which time the stay of enforcement will expire.  The action taken today also pertains to lead content in Youth Motorized Recreational Vehicles and Bicycles and Related Products.

This is in addition to the current stay of enforcement on testing and certification for children’s products by third party conformity assessment bodies (known in plain English as laboratories) that also includes testing of children’s toys and child care articles for banned phthalates , and testing of children’s toys for compliance with mandatory toy safety standards (ASTM F-963). These stays do not terminate on September 14, 2011 and will continue until the CPSC publishes the notices of requirements for laboratory accreditation.

Finally, please note we’re talking here about a “stay of enforcement.”  The Lead Content limit  (Section 101 of the CPSIA) will be required to go down to 100 ppm on August 14, 2011, unless the CPSC determines that it is not technologically feasible to have this lower limit. It just won’t be enforced.  How’s that for a nice safe harbor?

And, for those who enjoy controversy, the CPSC published today the Public Comments concerning the technological feasibility of 100 ppm for Lead Content.  Some people say “can do.”  Some say “can’t do.”  Some say “must do.”  And some say “that the 100 ppm standard is entirely arbitrary and will save no lives and will preserve no IQ points.” (That would be Richard Woldenberg, Chairman Learning Resources, Inc.)

The future?  There will most likely be some exclusions to the 100ppm limit but not as many as manufacturers believe are necessary or appropriate.