Toys and Children's Products Testing

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 is a United States law signed on August 14, 2008 by President George W. Bush. The law increases the budget of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), imposes new testing and documentation requirements, and sets new acceptable levels of several substances. It imposes new requirements on manufacturers of apparel, shoes, personal care products, accessories and jewelry, home furnishings, bedding, toys, electronics and video games, books, school supplies, educational materials and science kits. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act also increases fines and specifies jail time for some violations.

What do toy and children's product manufacturers need to do?

The CPSIA is targeted mostly toward "children's products," which are defined as any consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger. If you manufacture products (furniture, toys, garments, etc.) designed for use primarily by children, then it is important that you have a materials testing program in place by a third-party testing laboratory.

Compliance with ASTM F963

Your children's products—and all the parts and components used to assemble your products—need to be in compliance with the new rules on lead, phthalates, and soluble metals content in all materials used for production, including paints and coatings. Your products also need to comply with ASTM F963, "Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety," which contains specifications and test methods to determine safety hazards. ASTM F963 specifies over 30 test procedures relating to toy safety and children's product safety. Some of these include:

  • Flammability testing - numerous test methods from simple to complex
  • Toxicology testing - lead analysis and soluble heavy metals
  • Toxicology testing - phthalates di(2-ethylhexyl) (DEHP) also known as dioctyl phthalate (DOP), DnOP, DBP, BBP, DiNP and DiDP
  • Small Objects testing - choke hazards
  • Accessible Edges testing - sharp edges
  • Accessible Points testing -  sharp points
  • Packaging Film testing - thickness and spacing of holes
  • Folding Mechanisms testing - pinch points
  • Cords, Straps testing - choke hazards

How can Element help manufacturers comply with the new law?

Element scientists have been following the actions of the Consumer Product Safety Commission closely since the regulations were first proposed and have helped countless customers with the testing requirements in the process of becoming CPSIA compliant. Our independent, third-party testing laboratories develop testing programs to meet the specific needs of every manufacturer—from small boutique start-ups to major corporations. Our scientists and technicians protect your business from unnecessary costs with reliable and accurate testing and documentation to approved methods.