[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 66 (Thursday, April 5, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20614-20615]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-8187]


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CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION

[Docket No. CPSC-2011-0087]


Petition Requesting Exception from Lead Content Limits; Notice 
Granting Exception

AGENCY: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (``Commission'' or 
``CPSC'' or ``we'') has received a petition requesting an exception 
from the 100 ppm lead content limit under section 101(b) of the 
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (``CPSIA''), as amended 
by Public Law 112-28. We are granting an exception to the 100 ppm lead 
content limit for certain aluminum alloy components of children's die-
cast, ride-on pedal tractors, and similar component parts made of 
aluminum alloy on similar ride-on children's products for children ages 
3 years and older. Such products may include other children's ride-on 
tractors, children's ride-on cars, and other ride-on toys. These 
aluminum alloy components must meet a lead content limit of 300 ppm.

DATES: The effective date is April 5, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristina Hatlelid, Ph.D., M.P.H., 
Directorate for Health Sciences, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 
4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; email: khatlelid@cpsc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under section 101(a) of the CPSIA, consumer 
products designed or intended primarily for children 12 years old and 
younger that contain lead content in excess of 100 ppm are considered 
to be banned hazardous substances under the Federal Hazardous 
Substances Act (``FHSA'').
    Section 101(b)(1) of the CPSIA provides for a functional purpose 
exception from the lead content limits, under certain circumstances. 
The exception allows CPSC, on its own initiative, or upon petition by 
an interested party, to exclude a specific product, class of product, 
material, or component part from the lead limits established for 
children's products under the CPSIA if, after notice and a hearing, we 
determine that: (i) The product, class of product, material, or 
component part requires the inclusion of lead because it is not 
practicable or not technologically feasible to manufacture such 
product, class of product, material, or component part, as the case may 
be, in accordance with section 101(a) of the CPSIA, by removing the 
excessive lead or by making the lead inaccessible; (ii) the product, 
class of product, material, or component part is not likely to be 
placed in the mouth or ingested, taking into account normal and 
reasonably foreseeable use and abuse of such product, class of product, 
material, or component part by a child; and (iii) an exception for the 
product, class of product, material, or component part will have no 
measurable adverse effect on public health or safety, taking into 
account normal and reasonably foreseeable use and abuse. Under section 
101(b)(1)(B) of the CPSIA, there is no measurable adverse effect on 
public health or safety if the exception will result in no measurable 
increase in blood lead levels of a child.
    On September 29, 2011, Joseph L. Ertl, Inc., Scale Models and 
Dyersville Die Cast (``petitioner''), submitted a petition requesting 
an exception from the lead content limit of 100 ppm under section 
101(b) of the CPSIA for its die-cast, ride-on pedal tractors, scaled 
for children ages 3-10 years. Given the highly technical nature of the 
information sought, including data on the lead content of the product 
and test methods used to obtain those data, we believe that notice and 
solicitation for written comments is the most efficient process for 
obtaining the necessary information, and provides adequate

[[Page 20615]]

opportunity for all interested parties to participate in the 
proceedings. Accordingly, we invited comments on the issues raised by 
the petition. In the Federal Register of November 16, 2011 (76 FR 
70975), we invited comments on the issues raised by the petition with 
comments due on December 16, 2011. On January 5, 2012 (77 FR 478), we 
reopened the comment period for 30 days, with comments due on February 
6, 2012. We received one comment in support of the petition. The 
commenter stated that pedal tractors with aluminum alloy components 
cannot practicably be manufactured in accordance with the 100 ppm lead 
content requirement. The commenter also stated that the aluminum alloy 
components are not likely to be placed in the mouth or ingested and 
will not have a measurable adverse effect on public health or safety.
    The petitioner stated that the components of its pedal tractors are 
made of aluminum metal die castings, which are the best alloy of choice 
for pedal tractor production, based on weight, cost, structural 
properties, surface finish and coatings, corrosion resistance, bearing 
properties, and wear resistance. The pedal tractor components are 
manufactured via the aluminum die-casting process. Although the 
petitioner stated that it is able to meet the lead content requirements 
of 300 ppm for its pedal tractor components, it is unable to meet 
consistently the 100 ppm lead content limits, due to alloys used in the 
aluminum die-cast process. Accordingly, the petitioner requested an 
exception from the 100 ppm lead content limit.
    For the reasons described in CPSC staff's briefing package, 
available at http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia12/brief/ertl.pdf, we 
agree with the petitioner and the commenter that an exception to the 
100 ppm lead content limit for certain children's ride-on pedal tractor 
component parts is appropriate. The petitioner indicated that two 
aluminum alloys with relatively low lead concentration can be purchased 
and used to manufacture the pedal tractor products. One of these 
aluminum alloys (A380.1) may contain more than 300 ppm lead, although 
the petitioner indicated that this alloy can be obtained, with careful 
purchasing, with a lead content of no more than 300 ppm. The petitioner 
indicated that the second aluminum alloy (A413.1) that can be used to 
manufacture the products is available with less than 200 ppm lead. 
While the petitioner indicated that it is possible to manufacture their 
products with the specific alloy with lead content less than 200 ppm, 
the A380.1 alloy, or a similar alloy, with lead content no more than 
300 ppm, is a practicable material for manufacturing the component 
parts of the pedal tractors because the A380.1 aluminum alloy is one of 
the most commonly used aluminum alloys in manufacturing and is more 
readily obtainable from sources than the A413.1 aluminum alloy. In 
addition, the A413.1 alloy costs $0.99 to $1.65 per unit more than the 
A380.1 alloy (about 1 percent of the cost of the product), resulting in 
additional material costs of the product. Obtaining aluminum alloys at 
100 ppm or other substitute alloys was considered not practicable for 
the petitioner. The use of another metal alloy, such as steel, or using 
plastic molded component parts was not practicable because it would 
result in completely retooling the manufacturing process and result in 
products that appeared different from the current product, which uses 
die-cast component parts.
    In addition, the products included in the petition are similar to 
two types of products that have specific statutory provisions regarding 
lead content requirements. The CPSIA, as amended by Public Law 112-28, 
established new provisions for specific exceptions from the 100 ppm 
lead content requirement. Section 101(b)(5) of the CPSIA provides that 
the lead content limit does not apply to off-highway vehicles. Section 
101(b)(6) of the CPSIA also provides that for metal component parts of 
bicycles and related products, the lead limit is 300 ppm, not 100 ppm, 
as otherwise applicable to children's products.
    The petitioner's children's ride-on pedal tractors made with 
aluminum alloys are therefore granted an exception from the 100 ppm 
lead content limit, and allowed to have a lead limit of 300 ppm 
instead, because it is not practicable to impose the lower lead limit 
on such aluminum alloys. These aluminum components include: body 
castings (right and left sides), rear wheel hubs, wide front axle 
yokes, wide front-end adaptor brackets, and other component parts that 
are similar to these parts and are not likely be placed in the mouth or 
ingested or extensively contacted by children because of their function 
and location on the product. The exposure to lead in such parts at the 
300 ppm limit is expected to be so low that it would have no measurable 
adverse effect on public health or safety as defined at 15 U.S.C. 
1278a(b)(1)(B), taking into account normal and reasonably foreseeable 
use and abuse.
    For the same reasons, children's products that are similar, such as 
other children's ride-on tractors, children's ride-on cars, and other 
ride-on toys intended for children ages 3 years and older that contain 
similar aluminum alloy component parts, including body castings (right 
and left sides), rear wheel hubs, wide front axle yokes, wide front-end 
adaptor brackets, and other component parts that are similar to these 
parts and are not likely to be placed in the mouth or ingested, or 
extensively contacted by children because of their function and 
location on the product must meet a lead content limit of 300 ppm for 
the aluminum alloy component parts. The exposure to lead in these 
similar component parts is expected to be so low that it would have no 
measurable adverse effect on public health or safety as defined at 15 
U.S.C. 1278a(b)(1)(B), taking into account normal and reasonably 
foreseeable use and abuse.

    Dated: April 2, 2012.
Todd A. Stevenson,
Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2012-8187 Filed 4-4-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6355-01-P