Friday, August 14, 2009

CPSIA Updates - Tracking Lables for Children's Products

According to 'Consumer Product Improvement Act of 2008’ (CPSIA), Section 103 requires that; all manufacturers of children’s products must place permanent distinguishing marks on the product and its packaging to provide certain identifying information.
This section allows the Commission to require labels to include elements which will allow the manufacturer and the ultimate consumer to as certain:
• Manufacturer or private labeler (source of product)
• Date and place of manufacture
• Batch, run or lot number
• Other identifying characteristics

The permanent tracking label is required for all children’s products (up to age 12) and their packaging which are manufactured on or after August 14, 2009 (1). The aim of Section 103 is to provide for effective traceability of children’s products in the event of a recall and to allow the ultimate consumer to as certain traceable information of the product.

Congress indicated in the requirement that the tracking labels will be required “to the extent practicable”. This recognizes that it might not be practical to have a permanent label or mark on very small items. The tracking label must also be on the packaging of a product.

The new labeling provision requires that the tracking label must appear permanently on the product and any packaging. Therefore, placing the required information on hangtags or adhesive labels is not acceptable.

Therefore, some of the concerns are outlined below:
• Unclear provisions for items such as socks, gloves, small toys, jewelry items, etc where it is not practicable to use a permanent tracking label directly on the item.
• Batch’ number is not clearly defined.
• ‘Permanent’ and ‘permanently attached’ has not been clearly defined.
• Manufacturers need time to develop labels or other methods of marking that work for their individual products and situations once CPSC issue rules for implementing the tracking labels.

On 13 May, 2009, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) denied the request for a stay of enforcement of the tracking label under section 103 ofthe CPSIA (3). Therefore, this provision will go into effect for items manufactured on or after August 14, 2009. The CPSC is currently working on guidance for tracking labels.

In general existing laws define a permanent label to be such that that it can not be removed without destroying or defacingthe label, and shall not be affixed to any part which is easily detached from the product and shall be affixed in a readily accessible position. The format and position of the label on the product is determined by the manufacturer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Composite Test is allowed by CPSC?

Yes, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently published a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for determining Lead content (Pb) in paint and other similar surface coating materials dated on April 26, 2009 . The new method has an option to test different materials in a composite manner. The rules for accreditation for lead in paint for compliance with 16 CFR 1303 remains unchanged and existing accreditations remain valid.

Below are the highlights of the method:

• Wet paints are dried prior to testing,
• For products coated with paint or a similar surface coating, remove and digest the coating,
• Solvents such as methylene chloride (dichloromethane) may be used to soften the paint prior to removal,
• CPSC considers that it is a reasonable practice to composite up to 3 colors and that any sample having greater than 80 % of the limit for lead in paint (72 ppm) in any of the composited paints should be retested.

Lead Content
Regulation: 16 CFR 1303
Scope: (Paint and similar surface coating material)
Max. is 90ppm (Individual Test)

Max. is 72ppm (3-in-1 Composite Test)
* Less than 72ppm, Pass
* No Conclusion: if result is the range >72ppm and <270ppm
(further individual test must be conducted)
* More than 270ppm, Fail

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Limits of DimethylFumarate (DMF) is Fixed Now!

Commission Decision has already published the requirements of Dimethyl Fumarate.

Commission Decision of 17 March 2009 requiring Member States to ensure that products containing the biocide Dimethylfumarate are not placed or made available on the market, and it is applied for all products with 0.1mg/kg or less of DMF.

You can refer to my previous posts about DMF.
Ban of Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF)!
DMF - Dimethy formamide OR Dimethy fumarate?
EU Concerns on DMF!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ban of Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF)!

In 2008, a number of consumers in some countries such as France, Finland, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom were exposed to products containing DMF and experienced health problems such as skin itching, irritation, redness, burns and acute respiratory difficulties. An EU wide ban on the use of DMF in all consumer goods is designed to eliminate the chronic health risks and in particular the allergic reactions suffered by some consumers when they are exposed to this substance.

Existing Rules
DMF is already banned for use in the manufacture of goods in the EU, since biocidal products containing DMF are not authorised under the Biocides Directive (98/8/EC). However, manufacturers outside the EU may use these unauthorised biocides and then export their products to the EU.

The Actions
In December 2008, France adopted a decree banning the importation and placing on the market of seating and footwear containing DMF for 1 year. The French Decree also requires the recall of all seating and footwear which visibly contains, or the packaging of which visibly contains, DMF. In January2009, Belgium issued a Decree to ban all articles containing DMF on the market. Spain is considering introducing a measure.

Scope: Consumer Product
Regulation: To be finalized

Scope: Articles and Products
Regulation: Minister for Public health and the Minister for Consumer Protection, Ministerial Decree concerning the prohibition of placing articles and products containing DMF on the market
(Belgian Official Journal, 12 January2009)

Scope: Seating and Footwear (for 1 year)
Regulation: Ministry for the Economy, Industry and Employment, Decree of 4 December 2008
suspending the placing on the market of seats and footwear containing DMF from the Market
(French Official Journal, Text 17 of 108 , 10 December 2008)

You can refer to my previous posts about DMF.


Friday, February 13, 2009

PFOS in Textile

PFOS (Perfluoroctane sulfonates) is the substances for surface treatment applications for giving the surface material with repellent properties against water, oil and soil and softer handfeeling. In textile industry, the application likes rainwear, upholstery fabric, curtain material, workwear, bed sheeting...etc.
As PFOS has the properties with water resistance, machanical load, intense heat and stable on the laundering and drycleaning processes. So, PFOS is widely applied in coated fabric in textile market nowadays.

When PFOS applied as a finishing treatment to textile materials, the perfluorocarbon chain tends to be orientated away from the surface, lowering the surface energy of the material, thereby forming a flexible replelling barrier and preventing anything from interacting with the fiber surface.

PFOS are regarded as inert chemicals and biologically inactive. But, PFOS were classified by Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) as very presistent, bio-accumulative and toxic (PBT) chemical compounds. Therefore, new EU Directive 2006/122/EC was issued.

EU Directive 2006/122/EC
Perfluoroctane sulfonates
C8F17SO2X (where X = OH, metal salt, halide amide and other derivatives including polymers)

(1) May not be placed on the market or used as a substance or constituent of preparations in a concentration equal to or higher than 0.005% by mass;

(2) May not be placed on the market in semi-finished products or articles, or parts thereof, if the concentration of PFOS is equal to or higher than 0.1% by mass;

Or, for textiles or other coated materials. If the amount of PFOS is equal to or higher than 1ug/m2 of the coated material.

* PFOA is also a related substance of PFOS, which chemical at the heart of this Class Action lawsuit is Ammonium Perfluorooctanoate, commonly referred to as C8, C-8, or APFO.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

1-Year Stay of Enforcement for the CPSIA

One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is already voted to issue a one year stay of enforcement for certain Testing and Certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years old and younger. These requirements are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which added certification and testing requirements for all products subject to CPSC standards or bans.

It means that the commission will not enforce the testing and certification portion of the Act. Manufacturers and importers of children products will not need to test or certify to these new requirements, but will need to meet the lead and phthalates limits, mandatory toy standards and other requirements.

The stay does not apply to:
1. Four requirements for third-party testing and certification of certain children products subject to:
- The ban on
lead in paint and other surface coatings;
- The standards for
full-size and non full-size cribs and pacifiers;
- The ban on
small parts; and
- The limits on
lead content of metal components of children jewelry.
2. Certification requirements applicable to ATV.
3. Pre-CPSIA testing and certification requirements; and
4. Pool drain cover requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

Please kindly visit for the stay by CPSC in detail:

Monday, February 2, 2009

22 or 24 Banned Amines Substances of Azo Dyes Regulation?

According to Commission of the European Communities: Directive 2002/61/EC, there are 22 banned amines substances as below.
4-aminodiphenyl/xenylamine/Biphenyl-4-ylamine (CAS no. 92-67-1)
Benzidine (CAS no. 92-87-5)
4-chloro-o-toluidine (CAS no. 95-69-2)
2-naphthylamine (CAS no. 91-59-8)
o-aminoazotoluene/4-o-tolylazo-o-toluidine/4-amino-2’,3-dimethylazobenzene (CAS no. 97-56-3)
2-amino-4-nitrotoluol/5-nitro-o-toluidine (CAS no. 99-55-8)
p-chloranilin/4-chloroaniline (CAS no. 106-47-8)
2,4-diaminoanisole/4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine (CAS no. 615-05-4)
4,4'-diaminodiphenylmethane/4,4-methylenedianiline (CAS no. 101-77-9)
3,3'-dichlorobenzidine/3,3’dichlorobiphenyl-4,4’-ylenediamine (CAS no. 91-94-1)
3,3'-dimethoxybenzidine/o-dianisidine (CAS no. 119-90-4)
3,3'-dimethybenzidine/4,4’-bi-o-Toluidine (CAS no. 119-93-7)
3,3'-dimethyl-4,4'-diaminodiphenylmethane/4,4’-methylenedi-o-toluidine (CAS no. 838-88-0)
p-cresidin/6-methoxy-m-toluidine (CAS no. 120-71-8)
4,4'-methylene-bis-(2-chloro-aniline)/2,2’-dichloro-4,4’methylenedianiline (CAS no. 101-14-4)
4,4'-oxydianiline (CAS no. 101-80-4)
4,4'-thiodianiline (CAS no. 139-65-1)
o-toluidine/2-aminotoluene (CAS no. 95-53-4)
2,4-toluylenediamine/4-methyl-m-phenylenediamine (CAS no. 95-80-7)
2,4,5-trimethylaniline (CAS no. 137-17-7)
4-aminoazobenzene (CAS no. 60-09-3)
o-anisidine/ 2-methoxyaniline (CAS no. 90-04-0)

For Oeko-tex standard 100, the list is upgraded to 24 banned list. Which the below 2 arylamines substances are addiationally put into the list.
2,4-Xylidine (CAS no. 95-68-1)
2,6-Xylidine (CAS no. 87-62-7)
For more information about Okeo-tex, please kindly visit

Friday, January 30, 2009

What is Azo dyes?

Azo Dyes are the major colourants in the textile industry. It allows colours with outstanding colorfastness and wide huge spectrum. However, these dyes may split off aromatic amines and some of them are proven carcinogenic (eg. Benzidine)

* where: (1) Azo dye, (2) Original di-azo-components, (3) Linking component with additional amine.

Regulation / Requirement
According to the directive 2002/61/EC, in textile and leather articles that may come into direct and prolonged contact with human skin or oral cavity, the use of azo colourants, which may release 22 banned listed carcinogenic amines.

Testing Methods
- General Textiles: EN14362-1 (=64 LFGB 82.02-2)
- Polyester: EN14362-2 (=64 LFGB 82.02-4)
- Leather: ISO/TS17234 (=64 LFGB 82.02-3)
- Determination of 4-aminoazobenzene (4-AAB) (=64 LFGB 82.02-9)

Max. 30ppm (each amine)

* In some cases, some clients may set the requirement to 24 banned listed amines or 20ppm. Please kindly contact your testing service provider for solution.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DMF - Dimethy formamide OR Dimethy fumarate?

There are two different chemical substances but with the same short term name "DMF". It may cause you confused. Here below are the clear information briefly and the differences between them.

Dimethyl fumarate
CAS no. 624-49-7
Appearance: Crystal Solid in Sachel
Application: Anti-mould agent
Harmful effect: Skin Allergenic

Dimethy formamide
CAS no. 68-12-2
Appearance: Liquid
Application: Solvent
Harmful effect: Pespiratory Irritation by VOC effect

You can check the previous post for the detail of Dimethyl fumarate. Or you can check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of the above chemical substances from your suppliers.

* If you would like to post your ad on this blog, please feel free to contact me for detail.

Monday, January 12, 2009

16 CFR 1610 Flammability Requirement under CPSIA

According to CPSIA, Wearing Apparel Flammability - 16 CFR 1610 is required for both children's and adult's apparels. But certain products may be exempted from testing requirement subjected to following conditions:

Specific Exceptions -
  1. Hats, provided they do not constitute or form part of a covering for the neck, face, or shoulders when worn by individuals;
  2. Gloves, provided they are not more than 14 inches in length and are not affixed to or do not form an integral part of another garment;
  3. Footwear, provided it does not consist of hosiery in whole or part and is not affixed to or does not form an integral part of another garment;
  4. Interlining fabrics, when intended or sold for use as a layer between an outer shell and an inner lining in wearing apparel.

Specific Exemptions -

  1. Plain surface fabrics, regardless of fiber content, weighing 2.6 ounces per square yard or more; and:
  2. All fabrics, both plain surface and raised-fiber surface textiles, regardless of weight, made entirely from any of the following fibers or entirely from combination of the following fibers: acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, wool.

Summary of Test Criteria for Specimen Classification
Plain surface textile fabric
Class 1: Burn time is 3.5 seconds or more, then ACCEPTABLE
Class 2: This class is not applicable to plain surface textile fabrics
Class 3: Burn time is less than 3.5 seconds, then NOT ACCEPTABLE

Raised surface textile fabric
Class 1: (1) Burn time is greater than 7.0 seconds; or (2) Burn time is 0-7 seconds with no base burns (SFBB). Exhibits rapid surface flash only, then ACCEPTABLE.
Class 2:
Burn time is 4–7 seconds (inclusive) with base burn (SFBB), then ACCEPTABLE.
Class 3:
Burn time is less than 4.0 seconds with base burn (SFBB), then NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Even though the some fabrics may be exempted from the flammability test, the Certificate of Conformity is still required.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Textile product is related to "Intended to be Released"?

Under REACH, textile products, such as Jackets, T-shirts, footwear, bags, etc are defined as "Article". Which article means an object giving a special shape, surface or design during production that determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition.

According to REACH regulation, article itself is not the right candidate for registration unless SVHC found in article. Moreover two criteria should be fulfilled if registration can be triggered as below condition (c).

Substance in Article, if:
a. Not Intended to be released --> No registration
b. Intended to be released and less than 1 t/a --> No registration
c. Intended to be released and more than 1 t/a --> Registration

The concept "Intended to be released" is crucial for manufacturers or importers to consider whether the textile articles are involved in REACH registration process. "Intended release" is a deliberate action and has "added value" function for the article.

Below two examples of "Intended Release".
  1. Chemical substances such as dyestuffs, softerner and some agent are applied in textile production and it will be released after washing & finishing cycles, but it is not "Intended to be released".

  2. Some chemicals (eg. Aloe Vera) added on the fabric and it has a value-added function for skin care by this chemcial released from the fabric during wearing. This substance in product is "Intended to be released".

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Example of GCC

Here below is an example of General Conformity of Certificate (GCC)
General Conformity of Certificate

1. Product Description: ____________________________________

2. Safety Regulation Citations:
( ) Wearing Apparel Flammability (16 CFR 1610)
( ) Flammability Standard for Children's Sleepwear (16 CFR 1615 and 1616)
( ) Small Parts (16 CFR Part 1501 and 1500.50 - 53)
( ) Sharp Points and Edges (16 CFR 1500.48 and 49)
( ) Lead Paint Ban (16 CFR 1303)
( ) Lead in substrate CPSIA Section 101 (Lead in substrate)
( ) Phthalates CPSIA Section 108
( ) Flammability of Carpets and Rugs (16 CFR 1630 and 1631)
( ) Flammability of Mattress Pads (16 CFR 1632)

3. Importer/ Private Labeler’s or Domestic manufacturer’s Information:

Importer/ Private Labeler’s OR Domestic manufacturer’s name: ___________________________________________________
Full address: _____________________
Telephone number: _________________________
Manufacturer’s contact: _______________________________

4. Record Holder’s Information:
Name: __________________________________
Full Address: ____________________________________
Telephone number: _______________________________

5. Date of Manufacture:
Month__________ Year_____________

6. Date of testing:

Date of Third Party testing: _____________________________
TPCA (Third Party Conformity Assessment Body):
Place of TP testing: ____________________________________
TPCA name: __________________________________________
TPCA address: ________________________________________
TPCA telephone number: ________________________________

* The above information are just for reference only and it may be changed subjected to CPSC's updated requirement.

Friday, January 2, 2009

EU Concerns on DMF!

Background of the concerns

Since the beginning of 2008, there have been continuous reports by consumers in Europe suffering from rashes and other symptoms as a result of sitting on sofas and recliners from China. These sofas were found to contain sachets of the anti-moulding agent Dimethyl Furamate (DMF); inserted into such consumer products as an anti-fungal agent (to prevent moulding) during transportation. In some of the products, as much as ten times the usual quantity was placed inside sofas and chairs. Crystals of DMF contained in the sachets were placed between the cover and foam of the sofas, in which this substance is harmful in contact with the skin.

Since then, a popular French distribution chain has found footwear sold in its stores to have been contaminated by the same substance and has had complaints of skin damage as a result. Immediately, the company recalled all stock from the stores and is recalling the affected products from their consumers in an attempt to prevent further instances and to protect their brand image.

What is DMF?

The substance dimethyl fumarate is a white crystalline powder and has many names but can be identified by the CAS number as shown below.
Substance Name: Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF)
Substance CAS No. 624-49-7

The crystals of DMF transformed into toxic gases, particularly when exposed to heat. These gases can then pass through clothes to case the rash. It is harmful in contact with the skin and if in contact with the eyes could result in serious damage. Although, this substance must not be used in products, but there is the potential for it to come in to contact with the skin or the eyes. This is not just limited to upholstered furniture and footwear, it applies to all products where there is a potential for skin contact.

There is a similar short term with DMF but if different substances as below, that may confused in market.
Dimethyl Fumarate (富馬酸二甲酯)
Substance CAS No. 624-49-7

Dimethyl Formamide ((N.N-二甲基甲酰胺)*
Substance CAS No. 68-12-2

* Will discuss by the another post later for another DMF (Dimethyl Formamide).