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CPSC Holds Workshop on Potential Ways to Reduce Third Party Testing Costs

Nathan S. Cardon
Tracy P. Marshall
Sheila A. Millar
Carrie Teeter
Jean-Cyril Walker
Keller and Heckman LLP - Washington Office

April 2, 2014

Previously published on March 28, 2014

The CPSC will hold a workshop on April 3, 2014, to discuss ways to decrease third-party testing costs for products containing trace elements of lead and six phthalates found in children’s toys. Under current regulations, companies manufacturing children’s toys subject to the Toy Standard (ATSM F963-11) are required to undergo third-party testing to ensure that the product does not contain lead in excess of 100 parts per million (ppm) or phthalates which exceed the maximum allowable limit of 0.1 percent (1000 ppm), as mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).

In 2011, CPSC was tasked (see Public Law 112-28) with seeking “opportunities to reduce the cost of third party testing requirements consistent with assuring compliance with any applicable consumer product safety rule, ban, standard, or regulation.” After seeking comments from the public on the subject, the agency announced a workshop to continue discussions on the issue. Among the questions to be discussed are:

  • Is there a method for determining which products can be omitted from third-party testing requirements due to a high level of assurance that they will not exceed the maximum allowable limits for lead and phthalates?

  • Are there materials that should always be required to undergo third-party testing?

  • How should the CPSC evaluate new applications or methods of production to determine compliance with phthalate and lead limitations?

  • What technical, practical, or implementation issues should CPSC consider when conducting its evaluation and making recommendations?

The workshop is being held at CPSC’s National Product Testing and Evaluation Center in Rockville, Maryland. The agency previously made official determinations that several substances will not contain excess levels of lead (see 16 C.F.R. § 1500.91), but has been heavily criticized for failing to do more to reduce the high cost of third-party testing in recent years. Those costs have spread around industry, burdening even businesses and industries not directly affected by the agency’s testing rule.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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