CHA 2013 Winter Conference Speaker Series (Post 4)

Throughout the months of November and December we will feature the speakers and instructors who will be teaching courses at the 2013 Winter Conference January 11 – 14 in Anaheim, CA.

How to Make the Most of Your Quality Budget

By Paul Milne, Manager, Restricted Substances Testing Services, SGS

There are a great many regulations out there.  Perhaps you’ve noticed.  In the United States in particular the complexity is compounded by regulatory requirements at both the state and the federal level.  Simply keeping track of all the requirements for restricted substances in your products can occupy a fair amount of your time.  To complicate matters, there are different requirements depending upon age of use of the products, with children’s articles naturally coming with more restrictions than those articles intended solely for adult use.  How can you ever test to all those limits?

The simple answer is that you can’t.  There are too many individual regulations to chase after to test exclusively for each one.  However, as you go through things, certain commonalities will crop up.  For example, most jurisdictions are concerned with the levels of lead and cadmium in various products.  This is notable because lead and cadmium make very vivid and bright colors depending upon how they’re combined with other elements.  Those same colors that appeal to artists are also the ones that can be problematic.  Do you need to test?

Not necessarily.  You can stipulate that those dyes and paints that contain lead and cadmium are to be for use by adults only.  To comply with the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA), you will place statements on your product to the effect that these dyes or paints are only for use by adults, wash hands after use, keep out of reach of children, etc.  (To know exactly which warnings are required, you will have a toxicologist review your formulation and give you a Toxic Risk Assessment (TRA).  This will eliminate having to deal with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) which is concerned with lead and cadmium (among other substances) in children’s products.

For the US, that leaves California’s Proposition 65 which is designed to limit the exposure of Californians to chemicals that are toxic, cancer-causing, or cause reproductive harm.  Normally, manufacturers try to eliminate the toxic substances in their products in order to comply with prop 65, but in this case, the toxic substances (lead and cadmium) are a necessary part of the product.  Not to worry.  You place a warning label stating that there are toxic substances in this product and that allows you to sell in California.

So you have managed to comply with US regulations and only gone out of pocket for the TRA.  By knowing what was in your product, you avoided unnecessary testing for things that “might” be there.  By classifying it correctly as an adult-use product you were able to avoid CPSIA regulation, and by understanding Proposition 65 regulation you knew you couldn’t avoid a warning label so there was no point in testing.

This realistic example is one way to stretch that quality budget, and I will be presenting more ways at the CHA Winter Conference as well as being part of the CHA Experts & Resource program.  In the meantime, if you have questions regarding chemical regulations and compliance, please feel free to contact me at  I look forward to hearing from the CHA members over the coming months.

~ Paul Milne

Conference Program registration is NOW OPEN!  Click here for more information and to register. Register for a Conference Program by December, 21st and be entered to win TWO admission passes to Disneyland Park.

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