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Third-Party Lead Testing Deadline Passes

Published December 22, 2008

BETHESDA, MD (BRAIN)—Monday marked the deadline for bicycle manufacturers to certify through a third-party laboratory that the amount of lead in paint and substrate used on their products doesn’t exceed the limit outlined in the new consumer product safety law.

All products manufactured after Dec. 22 must be accompanied with a certificate of compliance verifying the lead paint limit is 600 parts per million or less.

Many of the larger bicycle suppliers had already been complying with this limit before the Consumer Product Safety Information Act passed last August, and John Nedeau, president of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, said he believes the smaller companies are also now aware of the issue.

“I base this on a myriad of calls I’ve received requesting clarification on what the BPSA has done, or our understanding of the requirements. I also believe that the Prop 65 experience was a contributing factor to the industry’s readiness,” Nedeau said citing a California proposition that limits the amount of lead in consumer products.

More than 20 bicycle companies were cited for violating Prop 65’s lead limits in late 2005 and early 2006, which prompted stricter testing standards.

The BPSA met with Consumer Product Safety Commission staff last month to address some of the industry’s concerns with the new law, including whether the lead ban will be enforced on small bike parts that use higher amounts of lead but are generally not accessible to children, such as valves and spoke nipples.

Nedeua said he hasn’t heard back from CPSC with any specific guidance, but the BPSA recently endorsed a petition from the National Association of Manufacturers requesting the Commission issue a final rule on matters such as the scope of products subject to the lead regulation and what constitutes accessible component parts.

Beginning Feb. 10, products that exceed the 600 ppm lead limit will not be allowed on retail shelves.

Although the BPSA cannot provide its members with legal advice regarding the new law, the association is working with the CPSC to minimize the law’s implications to the industry.

As a result of its efforts, the BPSA has signed on several new members including Cane Creek and Huffy, Nedeau said.

—Nicole Formosa

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