New American Lead Laws Now In EffectAugust 18, 09
New limits by the U.S. government regarding the amount of lead allowed in children's products, including jewelry, took effect August 14. The new federal rules halve the amount of lead allowed, dropping from 600 parts per million (ppm) to 300 ppm.
The new limits are part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which the U.S. Congress passed in the wake of a number of children's products recalls due to their high lead levels.
The law applies to all products made for children aged 12 and under.
According to the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA), manufacturers and importers of children's precious-metal jewelry (karat gold, sterling silver and platinum group metals), are temporarily exempt from the law's testing and certification requirements while the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) determines whether or not those materials, as well as gemstones, should be permanently exempt.
Manufacturers and importers of children's base-metal jewelry, however, are not exempt and must take the following steps to be in compliance with the new laws:
· Conduct third-party lead-content testing though CPSC-accredited labs. A listing of certified labs is available on CPSC.gov.
· Have a certificate that accompanies shipments of children's jewelry, in paper or electronic form, that shows testing was performed.
· Include permanent tracking labels so products can be traced back to their source. When products are small, as jewelry can be, the CPSC has ruled that such information can be included on the product packaging.
More in-depth information for complying with the CPSIA including a step-by-step guide can be found in the MJSA's "Lowering Lead" guide.