Product testing is a real minefield

What people are saying about Mulberry Fields
” I REALLY do enjoy your posts and find them informative and helpful.” – a Wal-Mart supplier

A client of mine sent me an email the other day asking about some testing for his products. Since it is a children’s product there are many requirements as per CPSIA/CPSC. I advised him that beyond the obvious tests for phthalates and lead he should consult the compliance guide of his customer, a major Global retailer. He told me that the compliance guide is very generic and does not answer some of his specific questions. My advice to him then was to work through his buyer who could then ask her product safety dept. And to get everything in writing of course.

I then emailed a friend of mine who works for a children’s’ products company and has a lot of experience with testing of children’s products for major retailers in the US. I told her who my customer was selling product to and asked her about some of the testing. Her reply was as follows:

“ The big surprise for him will be that name of retailer does not know what CPSIA compliant means, the labs don’t really know, even the CPSC does not know. In the end, if the customer has to educate himself and make some judgment calls. It is a complicated and very frustrating experience.”

I thought this was an interesting reply so I went online and did some reading on my own. I found a very interesting blog post about detailing the House Subcommittee on Commerce hearing in 2011 which covered CPSC and CPSIA guidelines. It makes for a very entertaining read. Here is the link

The point is product testing is very complicated and you cannot rest on assurances from one or two individuals about what tests you need to do. You need to do a lot of research on your own. And just to cover yourself you should get all discussions with labs and your buyers/customers in writing.

Here are some related posts on this subject.

Product safety
Product detail



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