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Washington State Department of Ecology Provides Guidance on Enforcement of Lead, Cadmium and Phthalates Prohibition

February 19, 2016

Washington State’s Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA),  includes a “Prohibition on the manufacturing and sale of children’s products containing lead, cadmium and phthalates” (RCW 70.240.020) as well as the Reporting Rule (Chapter 173-334 WAC) which requires manufacturer’s to report certain Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCC) to the Department of Ecology (DOE).
While focus to date has been on the Reporting Rule, DOE has advised that they are also enforcing the lead, cadmium and phthalates prohibition.  Details of this guidance can be found at the below link:
It is important to note that while lead, cadmium and phthalates are restricted under the Federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Washington’s limits may be more stringent and apply to a broader range of children’s products.
However, where the Federal law provides limits on the same consumer product and for the same risk of injury, the State safety regulation is not enforced (unless the state regulation is identical to the Federal standard).  An example of this is toys which have Federal requirements for lead, cadmium and phthalates.

  • Lead restriction is similar to CPSIA although it does cover broader range of products.  For example, the Washington State rule includes car seats whereas CPSIA does not
  • Cadmium restriction is more stringent both in limit and scope of products.  From a Federal standpoint, cadmium is restricted to 75 ppm in children’s toys per ASTM F963-11, the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety.  Washington’s limit is 40 ppm and applies to a broader range of children’s products including clothing and footwear, jewelry, child care articles and others
  • Phthalates are restricted by Federal law in children’s toys and child care articles.  As with Cadmium, Washington’s CSPA covers a broader range of children’s products such as clothing and footwear and cosmetics

Children’s products are defined in RCW 70.240.010 and include any of the following:  toys, children’s cosmetics, children’s jewelry, products that help a child with sucking or teething, products that facilitate sleep, relaxation, or feeding of child, clothing (including footwear), and car seats.
Why It Matters
Children’s products sold in the State of Washington must comply with the additional requirements of Washington State’s Children’s Safe Products Act where these requirements are not addressed by Federal regulation.  Compliance to the Federal regulations does not necessarily mean compliance to the CSPA as there are some significant differences. 
How UL Can Help
For more details on how UL can help you bring regulatory compliant, safe, and quality products to market contact   A UL representative will follow up with you soon.