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Chemical Standards and Policies

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U.S. Government Policies

  • Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 : Addresses standards for toddler and infant products, testing and certification of consumer products, lead concentrations in products, and phthalates limits in child care articles and toys, along with some other assorted products and compounds of interest. In addition to the implementation of the CPSIA, the website SaferProducts.gov was concurrently launched, which provides a searchable online database of consumer product incident reports.
  • HR 2715: Further improvements to the CPSIA passed in 2011 to provide the Consumer Product Safety Commission with greater authority in enforcing consumer product safety laws. The amendment also further addresses lead content limits, third-party product testing, and product certifications.
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Passed in 1976, the Toxic Substances Control Act aims to regulate chemicals in everyday products by providing EPA with the authority to require reporting and testing of potentially hazardous consumer products, along with the ability to restrict the use of specific chemical substances of mixtures. Generally excluded from the TSCA are food, drugs, cosmetics, and pesticides. Since the Act passed in 1976, the law has never been amended or reauthorized and the EPA has only been able to successfully restrict the use of 5 chemicals and currently only requires testing on a small portion of chemicals that are currently on the market (Safer Chemicals).
  • Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA): The FHSA was passed in 1994 and requires labeling on potentially hazardous or dangerous household items. Consumer products that are considered toxic, corrosive, flammable, irritants, or a strong sensitizer and also have the potential to cause significant personal injury or illness. Products that may be regulated under this law are children’s toys, cribs, rattles, bicycles, and bunk beds.

Proposed Legislation

  • Chemical Safety Improvement Act: Proposed in May of 2013, this Act presents the need for chemical reform, specifically addressing the current flaws in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and ways to fix them. The act would give the EPA more authority by allowing them to enforce product labeling, restrict uses of products, or completely ban products or chemicals from the market. The act also intends to require the EPA to prioritize the hazard level of all existing chemicals on the market and screen any new chemicals so as to prevent any unhealthy chemicals from entering the marketplace.

  • Chemicals in Commerce Act: Proposed in April of 2014, the Chemicals in Commerce Act is another proposed revision to the Toxic Substances Control Act and is currently being discussed in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Other National Standards and Recommendations

State Policies

Each state has their own legislation regarding toxics in consumer products. For the most up-to-date information on the current and proposed legislation in your state, visit SaferStates.com.

International Standards and Policies


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