The Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association
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For Immediate Release
A CPSC Staff Update on Petition HP10-2 Requesting Restriction of Cadmium in Toy Jewelry
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued an update on Petition HP 10-2, Requesting Restriction of Cadmium in Toy Jewelry, requested by the Empire State Consumer Project, the Sierra Club, the Center for Environmental Health, and the Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticides, dated May 28, 2010. On February 16, 2011, the Commission voted unanimously to defer its decision and directed staff to participate in two ASTM subcommittees, the ASTM F15.24 subcommittee developing a voluntary standard to address accessible cadmium from children’s metal jewelry and the ASTM F15.22 subcommittee on the ASTM F 963 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety (ASTM F 963). The staff recommended on August 30, 2011 to defer its decision for another six months pending final approval of the ASTM International Children’s Safety Standards.
FJATA has been active in developing and reviewing both standards. FJATA chairs the jewelry subcommittee, and is a participating member of the toy subcommittee. By recommending the further six month delay, CPSC staff is expressing its opinion that the ASTM subcommittees reflect sound, science-based guidelines that protect children’s health. Further, staff points out that the 300ppm total screening level for cadmium allows testing to occur at the same time as mandated lead tests minimizing additional testing costs. Manufacturers would want to meet the screening limit to avoid the migration test required in an additional test.
This report lists all current cadmium standards in the document (see link below), and states:
“Staff believes that the new children’s jewelry standard and the amended toy safety standard, when finalized, will be appropriate measures for reducing the risk of harm from exposure to cadmium in children’s jewelry.” (p. 11 of CPSC Staff Memorandum)
FJATA applauds CPSC staff for continuing to support the ASTM standards and will continue the effort to create a national standard that will preempt conflicting state regulations, thereby promoting cost-effective interstate commerce, without compromising the safety of our children.
Update: After the CPSC Staff recommendation, the Commission voted 3-2 in favor of granting the HP10-2 Sierra Club Petition, unless the ASTM groups can publish their work by December 16, 2011 (three months after the date the Commission vote appeared in the Federal Register).
FJATA is certainly glad the Commission is allowing the ASTM F15.24 group three months to complete its work before drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. However, in light of the CSPC Staff recommendation to give both ASTM groups an additional six months, and CPSC’s own participation in the groups, we consider Commissioner Nancy Nord’s comments on the vote instructive:
“Why participate in that process if the Commission circumvents the process before the participants complete their work? Promises of collaboration ring hollow when the majority proceeds by imposing unrealistic deadlines. Our good faith participation in the process will be open to question. Further, the loss of trust that accompanies these sorts of arbitrary actions curtails our effectiveness in working with standards that we must defer to (i.e., when the voluntary standards (1) adequately reduce or eliminate risks of harm and (2) are likely to be substantially complied with).” (Commissioner Nancy Nord’s Official Sept. 8 Statement on HP10-2 Vote)
Commissioner Nord goes on to say that CPSC has little in the way of resources to develop a Proposed Rulemaking on cadmium in children’s and toy jewelry.
FJATA does anticipate completion of the standard within the three month time frame, at which point, CPSC will direct staff to assess whether the standard is adequate and if companies are operating within guidelines. The CPSC Staff recommendation on the HP10-2 Petition is then due June 16, 2012.