Parental Advisory Suggested
What Are They?
What constitutes as a child's product? The government states on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website www.cpsc.gov, "A 'children's product' means a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger." As for what determines product intent, the CPSC consideres several factors. The manufacturer of the product may provide a reasonable statement of the products intended use, how the product is presented in "packaging, display, promotion or advertising as appropriate for use by children 12 years of age or younger," and if the product is "commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child 12 years of age or younger." As Carollo noted, if there is any question, the best bet is to get it tested.
What's At Risk?
While the CPSIA regulations have cost suppliers a great deal of money, the flip side of noncompliance was never even an option. Any parent or person who cares for children is well-versed in the phase of children's lives when absolutely everything ends up in their mouth. Anyone under 3-years-old is much more vulnerable to the effects of chemical substances entering their body. The result of a toy, lunch box or sippy cup laden with lead, phthalates and other toxic substances can be devastating to a child's intellectual and physical development. "It's not all about price, or money," said Lafichi, "When the phthalates issue first came out, we destroyed a lot of merchandise. There was nothing in our building that was noncompliant or that had failures, nothing," she continued.
And when a dangerous product finds its way into the supply chain, who is responsible? Simply stated, we all are. Carollo said there are measures distributors can take to protect the supply chain, their businesses and their clients. "Make sure the manufacturer can supply you with the safety documentation. Distributors have to make sure they can cover themselves, and ultimately keep the suppliers honest and bringing in safe products."