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Finding CPSC testing labs
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Pamela
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can someone who has done some testing please offer labs that can be used for flammability and lead testing? As an importer of childrens clothing from Pakistan I need to do these tests. I really did not know I was not in compliance and now with this whole discussion I see I need to do this. But I have to say just trying to find a lab is a daunting process, so any referrals are appreciated.

Pam
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J C Sprowls



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We used to use Precision Testing Labs in Tennessee.
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Esther
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manufacturers of children's products are required to use labs certified by the CPSC.

List of laboratories.

My quote inquiries were about the three minimal tests that I think are required: lead, flammability, and dimensional stability. As mentioned previously baby carriers/slings have additional requirements. Your product may require additional testing, so take my quotes with a grain of salt. The initial quote from Consumer Testing lab:

Quote:
lead = XRF scanning - $10.00 per scan
Wet Chemistry - $60.00 per color if needed. ( Positive XRF scan)

flammability = $150.00, plus a $5.00 per color charge wash/shrinkage =$175.00

These prices will be for Florida reports, not for Wal-Mart.


I have no idea what the last statement means. I suspect it refers to additional testing required for Wal-Mart, which I know includes colorimetry.

Still crunching the numbers to see how much it will cost me for an average style.
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margerite suggested the original thread be split off for locating testing labs.

Some entries weren't moved here because they had info that pertained to the other topic. One was Vesta's suggestion of SGS (who she uses) and also Ether's earlier link to lead testing labs.
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mhswope
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found Intertek online and sent them an email. They just called me and to test a fabric for flammability costs $100. It takes 4-5 business days. http://www.intertek-labtest.com/?lang=en

The person who called me is Maria, 973-924-2568

Marguerite
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OT but last night I was thinking that the market for testing services is going to go through the roof. Assuming that the demand and supply is currently in equilibrium, I imagine we're in for some turmoil with rising prices for services and lag times in getting results. I've suggested to He Who Shall Remain Nameless that because he wants to leave his job, he should research and consider starting a testing service being a brainy engineer boy who's looking for a way to enter the industry and providing a source of revenue we will be needing...
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Esther
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have received the test pricing schedule from Bureau Veritas, which IMO is one of the most professional labs and also the most expensive. They have a wide range of testing services which would probably service anyone here. I worked up an estimate for one of my styles to be tested as a completed unit, for the most part.



This style would be exempt from flammability because the fabric exceeds the weight minimum for the FFA. Even so it is 100% cotton and probably should be tested. Also I had been doing my own wash testing which will no longer be acceptable for children's products because I am not a certified lab.

Report charge: $100
Dimensional stability, garment, 3 cycles + evaluation: $92
Flammability for garment: $105
Lead test for each substrate(surface) in the style: $80/ea, 6 surfaces = $480
button
flower
fabric
lace
ribbon
label
Burst strength for attachments (flower, button): $60, 2 pull tests = $120.

Total possible testing charges: $897
Est. Cogs for 2 dresses: $40
Shipping to test facility: $5.00
Total expenditures: $942

Now I could technically not do the flammability testing and reduce the testing $100. I will probably need to send 2 samples because of the range of tests.

I added the burst strength (pull test) because that is also something I do on my own, but I am not certified.

Consumer Testing Lab gave me lower quotes, but I don't know that particular lab very well and I am not sure if they are ISO certified. Years ago I worked with Bureau Veritas as part of a JCP private label program and they are very professional.

If I wanted to create this exact style without sleeves, I would have to repeat all of these tests.

Oh and I left off colorfastness and crocking. If I was concerned about it I would throw in some white cotton into the wash. Can't do that anymore, so that would be extra too.
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Alison Cummins
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If I wanted to create this exact style without sleeves, I would have to repeat all of these tests.


Really? Is there no way around it? I mean, what if you wanted to create this exact style, only an inch shorter. Would all the testing need to be repeated for that too?

My understanding is that they need to be sure they are looking at all the different components of the garment. If the sleeveless version has, say, facing with fusibles that the version with sleeves does not, then I understand that they want to be able to determine that and do any necessary testing. But isnít there a way for them to examine a sleeveless version and certify that it has the same components as the one they tested? That the buttons are the same and do not need to be re-tested for lead?
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Pamela
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esther, very interesting information. My question to the group is do you think that large importers like Gap, Hannah Anderson, and scores more are really going to do testing like this on every single style? I mean really, it just seems like it can get really out of hand fast and the ones benefiting again is the government and the labs. Somehow this just doesn't seem right and while I am not against testing to ensure the fabrics are compliant with flammability testing and lead testing it seems to get a little on the ridiculous side, my 2 cents.

Pam
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J C Sprowls



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They *should* be doing these tests because it's just a darned good idea to make production smoother and it's part of ISO-compliant processes. If the company claims to be ISO-compliant and they can't prove they've been doing these tests, then their ISO auditor should be scrutinized.

None of this is new. It's just now enforced by law that we do what we should've been doing all along - big, small, jumbo, or micro. Granted, we didn't need to be this formal, last week. But, someone, somewhere has upset the apple cart and now we all have to tow the line.

I think we're still panicking over the expense instead of the investment in your line and process that it is. We need to get at the source of that fear/panic. Is it that you're underfunded? Or, is it that you don't want to confront defects?

See, the purpose of these tests is to ensure quality and safety. Just because it wasn't "not illegal" to sidestep all these quality touchpoints in the past doesn't mean the behavior can or should continue.

What you don't see is that it's very cheap insurance to adhere to these practices because based on the results of a test, you would make adjustments/modifications to your production process and then re-test to affirm that you are within a range of acceptable parameters. Keeping record of due diligence will bode well for you in the long run (xref: Vesta's post about her company recall).
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Esther
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This statement about an on going test program makes me think that any material change to a style results in additional testing. The CPSC has yet to provide sufficient guidelines for children's clothing.

Quote:
for ensuring that a childrenís product tested for compliance with an applicable childrenís product safety rule is subject to testing periodically and when there has been a material change in the productís design or manufacturing process, including the sourcing of component parts;


Every big box store has some kind of testing program. JCP, Wal-Mart and Sears programs are very rigorous. Despite that, these companies experience periodic product recalls.

I predict the rate of recalls of children's products will continue despite these new regulations.

There is the concern of duplicate, costly testing all along the product supply line. The CPSC has yet to address this. Where does the buck stop?
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Vesta
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've also used Intertek, and they were very professional. In the US, they've been more responsive to our small requests than SGS.
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Anne
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where exactly is "material change" defined? I read it as a "change in materials" (i.e., sourcing). If you are creating several styles from the same pool of materials (same fabric, same snaps, same thread, same elastic, etc.), wouldn't it seem reasonable to test one representative style that uses all of the possible materials? My entire infant/toddler line uses the same fabric, snaps, and zippers. If those components are all tested by a lab to be lead-free on one style, they are going to be lead-free on the other styles as well. I read the ruling as: if I don't change my snap source, and it passes once, I can test "periodically" and be in compliance. If I change snap sources, time to test again.

Btw, Esther, love that dress!!
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Pamela
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

J C Sprowls wrote:

I think we're still panicking over the expense instead of the investment in your line and process that it is. We need to get at the source of that fear/panic. Is it that you're underfunded? Or, is it that you don't want to confront defects?


My particular situation is that we use many fabrics per season, both cotton knit and woven cotton but they are different fabrics from different lots. I really did not post much here prior to this because the way we manufacture is what most members here consider the wrong way to do it. But it is how we do it, push rather than pull inventory. We create the styles, I have them in stock and then we sell. True, we are probably underfunded but the whole thing started on a shoe string.

I'm not that worried about defects but I am worried about cost of testing.

I just need to know the minimum requirements for these tests so I can put it on the certificate required. I'll use a lab as suggested in one of these two threads. I know flammability and lead count are two tests, I just need to know what else I am required to have.

Also, I can't find where I'd have to send a completed garment rather than just the fabric for testing.

Thank you,
Pam
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SarahM
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Think about this...in theory, shouldn't the fabric manufacturers be testing their goods before we buy them????
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