I’m getting more and more of these so I may as well answer it here. If this topic interests you, also see CPSIA, Denial and Retailer’s Liability
Hi Kathleen, my name is Sandy and I own a retail store. I (and my team) are working very hard to make sure we are compliant by Feb 10 but there is some confusion. My vendors are trying to provide me with the certification provided by their suppliers. I have attached an email to illustrate this. My understanding is that each company needs to test their own product and cannot rely on the certifications provided by their supplies and simply pass these onto their retailers. I think they are perhaps taking the documentation out of context or mis-reading it but perhaps I am wrong? I have sent them a link to this part of the forum and you seem pretty confident so this is the stance I have taken, do you feel the “quotes” such as the attached email are simply misquoting?
I wish I could invoice people who spread rumors and mythinformation; they create so much work for me and there’s tons of them out there. Unfortunately, some prominent personalities (note I did not say “experts”) involved in the CPSIA cause are telling people that using MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) or providing their supplier’s certifications constitutes a “reasonable testing program”. This is false. I’ve discussed this problem at length with attorney Jennifer Taggart who concurs it is very irresponsible to spread this misinformation. It is possible that your vendors, well meaning they may be, have been misled by unnamed parties. I would refer them (and you) to Jennifer for proper legal advice. She’s often accessible via twitter too.
My vendors are supplying me with certificates for different parts of their products and I am not sure if this is ok. My understanding is that component testing isn’t ok but I haven’t actually been able to find proof of this and so I am not sure if I should accept these certificates or not.
The answer to this is yes and no. At this time, XRF technology is considered to be a “reasonable testing program”. However, XRF can only measure lead per component. Thus, if your vendors supply XRF results per component, this is considered to be reasonable. However, if they are supplying data sheets from their vendors per component, it is not.
Other issues: vendors are sending me certificates of tests done on one of their products but they sell the same item in different colors. They have had one item tested and have sent me that certification. I don’t know if it is ok then to say her entire line is ok, I thought that each color/style needed to be tested separately.
You are correct. Testing must be at the SKU level, meaning each colorway.
There are some products that I am not sure about (if they need testing or not). The vendors don’t seem to know either and have just decided based on what others are doing who sell similar products. Specifically: nursing covers, nursing pillows and burp cloths. How do I find out If I need to get certification on these? I have emailed the CPSA but have not yet gotten a reply.
Some consider this a grey area because these are items used by adults in the process of caring for children. The law is pretty clear though; CPSIA applies to items used to facilitate the feeding, sleeping and care of children aged three and younger. The example a representative of a testing lab used was a nursing bra because a baby’s face is likely to touch it (no confirmation on this). Jennifer Taggart has made similar statements. She mentions that a diaper bag wouldn’t need testing unless it was used as, or included, a changing pad because the baby’s bottom will be touching it. I would imagine the same goes for burp cloths and nursing pillows and covers. If these are used to facilitate the care of children three and younger, these items must be certified compliant.
Speaking of sleeping; it becomes increasingly difficult for me to avoid speculating as to the true cause of some enterprise failures when I continue to get emails from people making baby bedding including sheets (or baby slings) who claim they’re exempt because these items are not a durable good. These days my response is MOTO (Master Of The Obvious). They’re right, sheets, blankets and slings are not a durable good; you learn that in Econ 101.