Fabric and Yarn Excluded in New CPSIA RequirementsAugust 24, 2009
A new vote has exempted fabric and yarn from the lead testing and certification requirements for children’s products under the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The exemption, which is expected to go into effect within a matter of days, does not include snaps, buttons, zippers and the like. The result is that the final garment will still need to be tested.
The testing of fabric and yarn has been a point of contention among children’s apparel manufacturers, who argue that the two items are not lead-bearing and that the costly testing of them places an undue burden on manufacturers.
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,” said a statement released by the CPSC.
The act, which became law last August, rankles and confuses manufacturers and retailers alike. The CPSIA made significant changes to previous regulations, which now imposes additional compliance requirements for consumer products produced domestically and abroad. Manufacturers making apparel primarily for children age 12 or younger take the brunt of the law, facing staggered deadlines for new lead-paint requirements and third-party testing of lead content in small parts and metal jewelry. Other requirements call for tracking labels on children’s products that show where the garment was made, its batch number and other information not previously made available to the consumer.
The apparel industry continues to petition for changes to the CPSIA. On Aug. 25, Kevin Burke, president and chief executive of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, will testify at a CPSC public hearing in Bethesda, Md., on the Commission’s agenda, priorities and strategic plan.
For more information on the CPSIA, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/ABOUT/Cpsia/cpsia.HTML. —Erin Barajas