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Commissioner Buerkle's Weekly Recap

April 08, 2014

Week in Review

Last week CPSC staff hosted the CPSC Workshop on Potential Ways to Reduce Third Party Testing Costs Through Determinations Consistent with Assuring Compliance was held at the National Product Testing and Evaluation Center in Rockville, MD. The staff’s focus was on identifying materials not likely to contain the regulated phthalates, lead or the eight heavy elements listed in the Toy Standard. The goal is to provide staff with evidence concerning possible determinations that certain materials regardless of their manufacturing process comply with applicable safety standards with a high degree of assurance and without requiring third party testing.

In addition to CPSC staff, the audience included stakeholders from the regulated industry, third party testing laboratories, trade associations, consumer groups as well as the members of the legal, science, and academic community.

CPSC staff and the audience listened to panel presentations that were followed by a question and answer session. The first panel focused on phthalates while the second panel centered on determinations related to lead and eight other heavy metals. The final panel discussion reflected concerns of consumers and the regulated industry related generally to third party testing.

Panelists offered ideas and data that would contribute to reducing third party testing costs through determinations that would be consistent with assuring compliance. The workshop showed there are good opportunities to move on determinations. While panelists were prepared and very engaged with staff, an underlying feeling of frustrations at the lack of action by the Commission in test burden reduction was clear. Nothing has been done nor has any real commitment has been demonstrated by the CPSC other than RFIs to provide real relief.

While the workshop provided a good first step towards meaningful test burden reduction as directed by Congress in P.L. 112-28, more work needs to be done and I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to reduce unnecessary third party testing costs. In addition, I encourage stakeholders to submit comments sharing their insight to third party testing burden reduction at Please note that comments must be received by April 17, 2014. Your input is invaluable to us as we move forward in determining ways to reduce unnecessary testing costs.

Look Ahead

This week, I will be delivering the keynote address at the Fashion and Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association’s (FJATA) annual conference. I look forward to hearing the members’ thoughts and concerns regarding the challenging issues at CPSC as well as provide a general update about what is going on at the agency.

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