U.S. CPSC Now Accepting Comments on Third-Party Testing Costs

Last Thursday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hosted a day-long public workshop to gather technical information and evidence that could help to reduce third party testing costs for manufacturers of toys and children’s products sold in the U.S.

Held at the CPSC’s National Product Testing and Evaluation Center in Rockville, Md., the workshop featured presentations of technical data by representatives of industry, consumer groups, and academic institutions. Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs for the Toy Industry Association (TIA), and Rebecca Mond, TIA director of federal government affairs, were both on-hand on behalf of the toy industry.

The technical data will assist the CPSC in determining which material types do not contain any of the six banned phthalates, lead, and/or heavy metals listed in the ASTM F963 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, and therefore do not need to be routinely tested. [Read more...]

CPSC Issues New Report on Toy Safety System Effectiveness, Shows Recalls Are Down

CPSCDuring the past five years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have stopped more than 9.8 million units of about 3,000 different toys that violated applicable standards. These products never made it onto store shelves and were kept out of consumers’ homes.

In recent years, the CPSC has created a robust toy safety system by requiring testing by independent, third party laboratories around the world; enforcing stringent lead and phthalates limits for toys; and stopping violative and dangerous toys at ports. This fiscal year, CPSC issued only 31 toy recalls, none of which involved a lead violation. This compares with 172 toy recalls in fiscal year 2008 (19 of which were due to excessive lead); 50 recalls in 2009 (14 for lead); 46 recalls in fiscal year 2010 (3 for lead); 34 recalls in 2011 (4 for lead); and 38 recalls last year (3 for lead).

Overall, toy-related deaths involving kids younger than 15 decreased from 19 in 2010, to 17 in 2011, and 11 last year (based on reports to date). The majority of toy-related fatalities last year were attributed to riding toys, including tricycles and nonmotorized scooters. For kids younger than 15 years old, non-motorized scooters were also the category of toys associated with the most injuries last year. Frequently, these injuries involved lacerations, contusions, and abrasions to the kid’s face and head. [Read more...]

ISO Meetings Explore Toy Safety Guidelines

Courtesy of the Toy Industry Association

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Toy Safety recently held meetings to discuss the development of global age determination guidelines for toys, based largely on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guidelines from 2002. The meetings, which were held in Tokyo, also discussed magnets, cords, impaction, phthalates, total concentration of certain elements, and the alignment of toy standards.

Technical experts from the U.S.—including representatives from toy manufacturers and importers, testing labs, and the Toy Industry Association (TIA)—and industry and product safety agencies from more than a dozen countries also attended the discussions.

ASTM International held its third annual meeting with ISO to share information and work for further alignment. Issues such as battery and magnet ingestion were discussed. A detailed report from the U.S delegation will be available for viewing on the TIA Website upon completion.

EU and OECD Develop, Launch New Global Recalls Portal

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

A new “Global Recalls Portal” was launched in Brussels, Belgium on October 19 to facilitate the exchange of information among government representatives, consumers and businesses about recalled products in jurisdictions around the world, according to a news release from TIA.

Developed jointly by the EU and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including countries such as the U.S., Australia, and Canada, the portal was unveiled during International Product Safety Week. Paola Testori Coggi, director general in the Directorate General for Health and Consumers at the European Commission (SANCO); Rintaro Tamaki, OECD deputy secretary general; and Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission were on hand at the launch.

The portal will allow consumers to search products they intend to buy to see if any safety alerts have been issued, help businesses to track emerging hazards from around the world, and aid governments in removing unsafe products from the market.

To view the portal, visit www.globalrecalls.oecd.org.

Bumbo Baby Seats Recalled

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Bumbo International Trust of South Africa, announced a voluntary recall of the Bumbo Baby Seats. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The Bumbo Baby Seat is being recalled because babies can maneuver out of or fall from the Bumbo seat, posing a risk of serious injuries. Consumers should immediately stop using the product until they order and install a free repair kit, which includes a restraint belt with a warning label, installation instructions, safe use instructions, and a new warning sticker. The belt should always be used when a child is placed in the seat. Even with the belt, the seat should never be used on any raised surface. Consumers should also immediately stop using Bumbo seat covers that interfere with the installation and use of the belt. A video demonstrating proper installation of the restraint belt and proper use of the Bumbo seat is available at www.recall.BumboUSA.com.

Order the free repair kit by visiting www.recall.BumboUSA.com or calling (866) 898-4999 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. CT on Friday. Do not return the Bumbo seat to retailers as they will not be able to provide the repair kit.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on SaferProducts.gov.

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (866) 898-4999
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Green Toys Recalls Mini Vehicles Due to Choking Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with Green Toys, Inc., have announced a voluntary recall of Green Toys Mini Vehicles. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The vehicles have been recalled because the wheels and hubcaps on the toy cars can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. Consumers who own the following mini vehicles, manufactured between March and June of this year, should contact Green Toys for a full refund:  Mini Vehicle Set, Mini Ambulance, Mini Vehicle Assortment, Mini Red Fastback, Mini Police Car, Mini Taxi, and Mini Fastback Set. Cars with an “I” etched into the underside of the car next to the date stamp are not part of the recall.

For additional information, contact Green Toys toll-free at (888) 973-3421 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.greentoys.com/recall.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Tell them about your experience with the product on SaferProducts.gov.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Recalled: Discovery Kids Animated Marine and Safari Lamps

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a voluntary recall notice that users of  the Discovery Kids Animated Marine and Safari Lamps should stop using the product due to fire hazards. The product, from Innovage LLC, has received 11 reports of short circuiting. This includes three reports of lamps catching fire, which led to property damage. No injuries have been reported to date.

The product is hazardous due to the placement of internal wires near the circuit board can cause electrical short-circuiting and sparking.

The recalled products have an 11-digit batch number that begins with either 584894 or 10128 and a model number of 1628626, 1642433, 1641522, 1641523, 1645729, or 1645853. Batch numbers can be found imprinted in the plastic underneath the lamps and on the bottom of the packaging.

Animated Marine and Safari Lamps are sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, Bonton, JCPenney, Kohls, Office Max, and Toys “R” Us stores nationwide, in addition to online retailers such as, Amazon, Ideeli, JCPenney, Kohls, Macy’s, and Overstock.

Consumers should contact Innovage in order to obtain information on returning the product and receiving a full refund. Call (888) 232-1535 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PST Monday through Friday, visit the firm’s website at www.innovage.net or www.lamprecall.org, or e-mail info@lamprecall.org

This post was originally written by Gigi Rubin and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group

Meetings Explore Toy Safety Standards in the EU and U.S.

Representatives from the European Commission, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, ASTM International, and the private sector gathered in Washington, D.C., to hold discussions on toy safety legislation and standards in the EU and the U.S.

Speakers briefed Congressional staff regarding the contrasting regulatory frameworks and standards development practices in the EU and U.S. Participants learned more about the differences and similarities in toy regulations and standards in the U.S. and EU; the impact of differing and overlapping standards on transatlantic trade and safety; and the possibilities for standards alignment and/or mutual recognition of conformity.

CPSC will also host the third United States-European Union-China Trilateral Consumer Product Safety Summit at its headquarters in Bethesda, Md. Officials from the EC and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine will be in attendance at the summit, which will focus on how the three agencies can advance product safety via coordinated surveillance throughout the manufacturing and distribution chains.  Government-only meetings will take place prior to the public session, which will be held June 29.

This post was originally written by Loren Moreno and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

North American Safety Commissions Release Statement on Summit

The first North America Product Safety Summit was held September 26-27 at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Maryland headquarters. The three main parties, CPSC, Health Canada, and the Consumer Protection Federal Agency of the United Mexican States, released a statement on last month’s event.

The organizations noted the importance of the gathering, explaining the increasing volume of world trade. Other issues that were discussed included the need for trilateral cooperation for product safety, continuous improvement in training and quality assurance systems, enhanced cooperation to solve product safety issues, the promotion of an aligned product safety requirement, and timely and effective communication of product safety information.

The statement ended with a summary of the Summit’s “Cooperative Engagement Framework,” a six-point course of action designed to address issues over the next two years. Attendees vowed to work on cross-border cooperation for regulations and voluntary standards, risk assessment, import and market surveillance, training and outreach, consumer awareness campaigns, and joint recalls or other corrective actions.

Fisher-Price Recalls More Than 11 Million Toys and Baby Gear

Fisher-Price, in cooperation with Health Canada and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has recalled more than 11 million toys and baby products that were sold in the United States and Canada.

The company is recalling 14 models of the Fisher-Price Trike and Tough Trike toddler tricycles (approximately 7 million units in the U.S. and 150,000 in Canada), which can cause serious injury including genital bleeding when a child sits or falls on the pretend plastic ignition key. According to the CPSC, there have been 10 injuries reported.

Also recalled are seven models of infant activity centers with inflatable balls, a total of 2.8 million units in the U.S. and 125,000 in Canada. The models have been deemed a choking hazard as the valves of the inflatable balls can come off. The CPSC was notified of 46 incidents in which the valves had come off, including 14 that were found in children’s mouths.

[Read more...]