[Title 16 CFR 1500.231]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - January 1, 2002 Edition]
[Title 16 - COMMERCIAL PRACTICES]
[Chapter II - CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION]
[Subchapter C - FEDERAL HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES ACT REGULATIONS]
[Part 1500 - HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES AND ARTICLES; ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT REGULATIONS]
[Sec. 1500.231 - Guidance for hazardous liquid chemicals in children's products.]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


16COMMERCIAL PRACTICES22002-01-012002-01-01falseGuidance for hazardous liquid chemicals in children's products.1500.231Sec. 1500.231COMMERCIAL PRACTICESCONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSIONFEDERAL HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES ACT REGULATIONSHAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES AND ARTICLES; ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT REGULATIONS
Sec. 1500.231  Guidance for hazardous liquid chemicals in children's products.

    (a) Summary. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issues this 
guidance to manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers to 
protect children from exposure to hazardous chemicals found in liquid-
filled children's products, such as rolling balls, bubble watches, 
necklaces, pens, paperweights, keychains, liquid timers, and

[[Page 497]]

mazes.\1\ The Commission identifies the major factors that it considers 
when evaluating liquid-filled children's products that contain hazardous 
chemicals, and informs the public of its experience with exposure to 
these hazardous chemicals to children. To reduce the risk of exposure to 
hazardous chemicals, such as mercury, ethylene glycol, diethylene 
glycol, methanol, methylene chloride, petroleum distillates, toluene, 
xylene, and related chemicals, the Commission requests manufacturers to 
eliminate the use of such chemicals in children's products. The 
Commission also recommends that, before purchasing products for resale, 
importers, distributors, and retailers obtain assurances from 
manufacturers that liquid-filled children's products do not contain 
hazardous liquid chemicals.
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    \1\ This guidance is not a rule. It is intended to highlight certain 
obligations under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Companies should 
read that Act and the accompanying regulations in this part for more 
detailed information.
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    (b) Hazard. During reasonably foreseeable handling or use of liquid-
filled children's products, hazardous chemicals may become accessible to 
young children in a manner that places children at risk. Young children 
are exposed to the chemicals from directly mouthing them or from 
handling such objects and subsequent hand-to-mouth or hand-to-eye 
activity. The specific type and frequency of behavior that a child 
exposed to a product will exhibit depends on the age of the child and 
the characteristics and pattern of use of the product. The adverse 
health effects of these chemicals to children include chemical poisoning 
from ingestion of the chemicals, pneumonia from aspiration of the 
chemicals into the lungs, and skin and eye irritation from exposure to 
the chemicals. The chemicals may also be combustible.
    (c) Guidance. (1) Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), 
products that are toxic or irritants and that may cause substantial 
injury or illness under reasonably foreseeable conditions of handling or 
use, including reasonably foreseeable ingestion by children, are 
``hazardous substances.'' 15 U.S.C. 1261(f)(1). A product that is not 
intended for children, but that creates a risk of substantial injury or 
illness because it contains hazardous chemicals, requires precautionary 
labeling under the Act. 15 U.S.C. 1261(p). A toy or other article 
intended for use by children that contains an accessible and harmful 
amount of a hazardous chemical is banned. 15 U.S.C. 1261(q)(1)(A). In 
evaluating the potential hazard associated with children's products that 
contain hazardous chemicals, the Commission's staff considers certain 
factors on a case-by-case basis, including: the total amount of the 
hazardous chemical in a product, the accessibility of the hazardous 
chemicals to children, the risk presented by that accessibility, the age 
and foreseeable behavior of the children exposed to the product, and the 
marketing, patterns of use, and life cycle of the product.
    (2) The Commission's staff has identified a number of liquid-filled 
children's products, such as rolling balls, bubble watches, necklaces, 
pens, paperweights, maze toys, liquid timers, and keychains, that 
contain hazardous chemicals. In several of these cases, the staff 
determined that these products violated the FHSA because they presented 
a risk of chemical poisoning and/or chemical pneumonia from aspiration. 
This determination resulted in recalls or in the replacement of those 
products with substitutes, as well as in agreements with the 
manufacturers to discontinue the use of hazardous chemicals in liquid-
filled children's products in future production. The Commission believes 
that these hazardous substances pose a risk to young children and, 
consequently, manufacturers should not have included them in the product 
design or manufacturing process.
    (3) Therefore, the Commission considers the use of hazardous 
chemicals in children's products such as those described above to be 
ill-advised and encourages manufacturers to avoid using them in such 
products. Further, the Commission recommends that, before purchasing 
such products for resale, importers, distributors, and retailers obtain 
assurances from the manufacturers that liquid-filled children's

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products do not contain hazardous liquid chemicals.

[63 FR 70648, Dec. 22, 1998]

                                 Imports