Release date: April 23, 2010
Release number: 10-203

Release Details

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted (5-0) to recognize four firewalled testing laboratories, also known as firewalled conformity assessment bodies. The recently amended Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) now requires that children’s product makers test their products at a CPSC-recognized laboratory as the basis for the maker’s required certification that their products meet certain CPSC safety rules – such as safety standards for cribs and pacifiers, a ban on children’s metal jewelry with lead, and bans on toys with small parts and lead paint. To date, the Commission has recognized nearly 250 third-party testing laboratories. The four firewalled labs recognized today have demonstrated, to a CPSC review committee, their ability to conform to requirements established under the CPSA.

Federal law mandates that a testing lab that is owned, managed, or controlled by a manufacturer or private labeler may test that company’s products as a basis for certification only if the CPSC finds that the laboratory has met criteria established by the CPSA to ensure that the laboratory’s test results are “firewalled” from the parent company.

Under the CPSA, the firewalled lab must:

-- provide equal or greater consumer safety protection than the manufacturer’s or private labeler’s use of an independent accredited laboratory; and

-- demonstrate established procedures to ensure that –

    - its test results are protected from undue influence by the manufacturer, private labeler, or other interested party;

    - the Commission is notified immediately of any attempt by the manufacturer, private labeler, or other interested party to hide or exert influence over test results; and

    - any allegations of undue influence may be reported confidentially to the Commission.

In addition, the CPSC requires that a testing lab that is owned, managed, or controlled by a manufacturer or a private labeler must be accredited by a full member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation—Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC-MRA) to meet ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation requirements for independent testing laboratories.

The following four laboratories are now recognized as third-party firewalled testing laboratories:

-- MeadWestvaco Safety, Health, and Environmental Laboratory, Miamisburg, Ohio

-- Dongguan Zensee Printing Limited DPI Laboratory, Dongguan, Guangdong, China

-- Testing Laboratory, Mattel Bangkok Limited, Samut Prakarn, Thailand

-- Chang An PI Lab of Foshan Nanhai Mattel Consultancy Service Co. Ltd., Dongguan, Guangdong, China

This brings the total number of laboratories that the Commission has accepted as firewalled to 11.

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