UPDATED JANUARY 8, 2009
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 enacts sweeping changes in the testing and labeling of children's products. DeLano Service is working hard to make it easy for you to comply with the new laws. Still, the law is not only sweeping, but vague and the regulations are changing frequently. Please check back as we will be updating this page frequently.
As of February 10, 2009 the law limits the total lead content in children’s products to no more than 600 parts-per-million (ppm) and prohibits the manufacture and sale of children’s toys containing more than 0.1% of certain phthalates. It also requires manufacturers of children’s products to test and certify their products. Product shipments must be accompanied by a hard copy or a digital copy of the certification.
As of August 14, 2009 the lead content limit will lower to 300 ppm. You'll be happy to know that products from DeLano Service have a lead content significantly lower than 300ppm, so you can rest assured that games printed now will be saleable later.
The CPSIA defines a “children’s product” as a “consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger.” Games labeled "Ages 14 and up" are therefore not affected. All others will, most likely, be affected.
Current problems with the law stem from vagueness on several points:
1) What constitutes proper testing? Does every individual product require testing, or can the batch of materials used to make multiple products be tested once to cover many SKUs? If each SKU must be tested, then DeLano customers will need to submit one game from every run to a testing lab. We estimate the cost for this at $500 to $1000 dollars. If testing can be done as a batch, then DeLano or it's suppliers can test the paper or plastic used in many games and distribute the cost among many titles.
2) What constitutes proper labeling? The CPSIA requires markings for “Labeling and Warning”. This includes Country of Origin, producers markings, Age Grading, Safety Warning Label, and a date or lot number. Our understanding of the law is that "producer's markings" implies that this should list the company that physically manufactured the product. In this case, DeLano Service. There is some question if this is the case or not. We would prefer that your name be on the box of your product. We are proud of what we produce but it's your game. This is not a legal issue, but a marketing one. DeLano is still obligated to certify products it manufactures or assembles.
3) What happens to old stock? Items in inventory are exempt. This does not preclude retailers from asking for certification or refusing to stock uncertified product, however.
4) What shipments require an accompanying cerficate letter? DeLano ships to your wholesale customers as well as individuals. At present, we are planning to include some certificate notice in all shipments, but it seems redundant to put this information in a single game box.
The Toy Industry Association and other manufacturing groups have petitioned the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to make clear or exempt several categories of goods (including paper). As of this writing, only certain natural fiber clothing ("unadulterated or untreated by pigments or dyes"), wood and high end (silver, gold, gemstone) jewelry have been proposed to be exempted. The TIA is not the only group asking for clarifications and exemptions. Hand crafted toy makers are also requesting changes.
We have not heard any information from distributors, retailers or retail trade groups.
Meanwhile, DeLano is working hard to make sure our customers can comply with the new law. All our processes and suppliers are in order. We are working with the CPSC and our largest customers as to what constitutes correct testing and labeling.
CPSIA Web Page - Lots of information in the "what's new" section.
CPSIA - Full Text (PDF - 475Kb) Full text of the Consumer Products Safety Information Act of 2008.
CPSC FAQ (PDF - 97Kb) - Consumer Products Safety Commission Offical Frequently Asked Questions about the CPSIA.
DeLano FAQ - We cover the CPSIA in the manufacturing part of our FAQ.