Washington’s Department of Ecology has issued a guidance document that clarifies changes to the agency’s enforcement of lead, cadmium and phthalates limits under its Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA).
According to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, “the guidance serves as notice that the Department of Ecology intends to begin enforcing the applicable state standards” for those products not already covered by federal rules.
Its issuance follows a request from an NGO, last year, that the state enforce self-reported violations of substance limits. The state had responded that it routinely tests products and reports federal violations to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), but that it would begin to investigate self-reported violations as well.
The CSPA limits the use of lead, cadmium and phthalates in children’s products. However, the adoption of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2008 largely preempted the state’s rule, as it imposed its own limits on the three substances.
However, Washington’s CSPA has a broader definition of “children’s products” than covered by the CPSIA, and the state therefore has the authority to regulate those products that fall outside of the federal rule’s scope.
According to the guidance document, product-chemical combinations that Washington state may enforce include:
a 40 parts per million (ppm), by weight, limitation on cadmium in clothing, footwear, jewelry, childcare articles and cosmetics (as compared to a federal 75 ppm cadmium limit in surface-coating or accessible substrate of toys);
phthalates in clothing, footwear and cosmetics, which are limited to 0.10% by product weight (individually or combined); and lead in children’s car seats, which is not to exceed 90ppm.
Washington’s exposure limits are “generally more stringent” than those regulated by the CPSIA, according to the Department of Ecology.