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Fabric and Yarn Exempt from CPSIA Lead Testing Requirements

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to exempt textiles from the lead testing and certification requirements for children's products covered by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). However the exemption does not include snaps, buttons, zippers and the like. The result is that the final garment will still need to be tested.

The CPSIA says it reached its decision on fabrics and dyes after studying hundreds of test reports and analyses that examined lead levels in various textile and apparel products, “After reviewing and verifying this test data, the staff was able to determine that most textile products are manufactured using processes that do not introduce lead or result in an end product that would exceed the CPSIA’s lead limits.”

Under the new ruling, materials exempt from the CPSIA lead laws now include:

  • Textiles (excluding after-treatment applications, including screen prints, transfers, decals or other prints) consisting of:
    (a) natural fibres (dyed or undyed) including, but not limited to, cotton, kapok, flax, linen, jute, ramie, hemp, kenaf, bamboo, coir, sisal, silk, wool (sheep), alpaca, llama, goat (mohair, cashmere), rabbit (angora), camel, horse, yak, vicuna, qiviut, guanaco;
    (b) manufactured fibres (dyed or undyed) including, but not limited to, rayon, azlon, lyocell, acetate, triacetate, rubber, polyester, olefin, nylon, acrylic, modacrylic, aramid, spandex.
  • Printing inks that use the CMYK process (excluding spot colours, other inks that are not used in CMYK process, inks that do not become part of the substrate under 16 CFR part 1303 and inks used in after-treatment applications, including screen prints, transfers, decals, or other prints).

The textile and apparel industry had long argued that testing fabric and fibres did not make sense, placed an unproductive burden on them, and required safe products to undergo costly or unnecessary testing.

Further details are available at:
http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr09/leaddeterminationsfinalrule-draft.pdf

 

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