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Labs & testing accessibility for small and micro-busines

 
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Maura Townsend
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:45 pm    Post subject: Labs & testing accessibility for small and micro-busines Reply with quote

(mods - please move if this has been addressed elsewhere already!)

It's being discussed/anecdotally reported (on etsy, in this thread and a couple of other places) that testing labs are now starting to refuse service to smaller operations because it is not cost effective. I'm curious whether people here have had any experiences like this?

I have not personally contacted any labs for testing children's products, because I'm simply not going to continue with production of any such items until I can send off swatches/material samples for testing. However, I'd like to know if I can even expect to get those tested once such a ruling comes down officially.

Anyone? I'm kind of suspicious of the anecdata that's out there now.
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Maura Townsend
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, the anecdata is allegedly sourced to CPSC accredited labs within the US, because these are the most accessible to US-based small and micro business (this is my assumption). However, the person who wrote the etsy post is not clear on whether she was focusing on those labs.

This brings me to another point (probably already addressed here?): there are only 5 labs on the CPSC list that are within the US and test for the applicable requirements (those two that apply to everyone, and excluding the several that apply only to pacifier and furnishings manufacturers) under CPSIA. That seems peculiar.

The following labs within the US will test for lead paint and small parts and are accredited according to the CPSC:

  • Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services, Inc - Taunton, MA
  • Intertek Consumer Goods North America - Algonquin, IL
  • SGS CTS-US - Fairfield, NJ
  • Specialized Technology Resources, Inc - Enfield, CT
  • Vartest Laboratories, Inc. - New York, NY



Again, if this is under discussion elsewhere, mods, please move my posts.
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Jennifer, Thesmartmama
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:06 pm    Post subject: Testing labs Reply with quote

The regulations for 3rd party testing for lead content don't even come out to 5/16/09 so you won't see labs accredited for that now. The funny thing about the etsy thread is with respect to XRF, she never called or emailed me and I'm in Southern California and I love small business testing - no minimum time, no report preparation charge, etc. So I'm not sure how thorough her research was but I do know the the laboratories are slammed.

Jennifer
www.thesmartmama.com
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Esther
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 1877
Location: ID Spudville

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was unaware that the currently certified labs have to be separately certified as 3rd party testing labs. I am not sure this is very clear. My assumption when looking at the testing lab list is that they are certified to administer tests to CPSC standards to meet the August deadline. <confused>

The main labs in the US are on that list and I would assume they can do the testing that many apparel manufacturers would need.
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annika
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esther wrote:
I was unaware that the currently certified labs have to be separately certified as 3rd party testing labs. I am not sure this is very clear. My assumption when looking at the testing lab list is that they are certified to administer tests to CPSC standards to meet the August deadline. <confused>

The main labs in the US are on that list and I would assume they can do the testing that many apparel manufacturers would need.


yeah. color me confused then too, because there are far more US-based labs on the accredited list on the CPSC's own website. I believed these were all accredited labs as of this time. I called one in suburban Chicago since that is where I am and they said they were accredited for lead testing.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

annika wrote:
. color me confused then too, because there are far more US-based labs on the accredited list on the CPSC's own website. I believed these were all accredited labs as of this time. I called one in suburban Chicago since that is where I am and they said they were accredited for lead testing.


The five labs listed are the ones you get when you narrow the selection of labs by location (United States) testing criteria to the two options that apply (currently - there is no criteria for pthalate testing in that interface) to non-furnishings and -pacifier criteria, i.e. lead paint and small parts .

The non-selected options in the "Scope" box are: Full size cribs, Non full size cribs, and Pacifiers. Most of the labs are not certified to test both lead paint and small parts. We still have to get the small parts test, or most of us who would be making any item that has potentially small parts.

If you only select "lead paint" in the scope box, you get about 18 labs.
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