QUESTION: What is the lead level allowed in children’s toys imported into Australia and how do I test? 10/08/10 South Australia, Australia
I am bringing a product into Australia for distribution and wanted to know how do I have it tested, to make sure that it contains a small amount or no lead at all it is for children’s toys. What is the lead level allowed in children’s toys.
ANSWER: Aug 11 2010
According to the "Product safety bulletin: Lead and certain elements in children’s toys and finger paints - June 2010" by the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)
"The mandatory consumer product safety standard for lead and other elements in children’s toys and finger paints came into effect on 1 January 2010, as notified in Consumer Protection Notice No. 1 of 2009."
In the table on the first page of the above Bulletin article, they list the maximum acceptable migration levels of lead and other elements in children’s toys and finger paints and the levels for lead are 90 ppm and 25 ppm respectively.
The Bulletin article goes on to advise:
For complete information about this mandatory standard, you must read:
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA, Trade Practices Act 1974, Consumer Protection Notice No. 1 of 2009, CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY STANDARD FOR LEAD AND CERTAIN ELEMENTS IN CHILDREN’S TOYS
We strongly advise that you read:
AS/NZS ISO 8124.3:2012, available from SAI Global (www.saiglobal.com) [Safety of toys Part 3: Migration of certain elements, is available for purchase for $103.54 for pdf or $115.04 hardcopy from http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/Details.aspx?productID=1506675 ]
AS 8124.7-2003 Safety of toys - Finger paints - Requirements and test methods, available from SAI Global. [available for purchase for $103.54 for pdf or $115.04 hardcopy from http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/Details.aspx?ProductID=323890 ]
Understanding all three documents is vital to ensuring that you and your business meet all requirements of this mandatory standard.
[END OF EXTRACT OF Product safety bulletin]
Another article on this subject is on the ACCC's new Product Safety Australia website at Lead and other elements in toys and finger paints and states:
"The mandatory standard provides specific guidelines on how to test for lead and other elements in children's toys and finger paints. To ensure their products comply with the standard, suppliers should organise this testing through specialist laboratories with the right skills, experience and equipment."
The place where you would have the toys tested is an accredited laboratory usually in the place where the toys currently are. There is a website which lists laboratory accreditation bodies in most countries overseas.
The website you are after can be found on www.nata.asn.au by going to the page of NATA-equivalent bodies, and from there, going to, for instance, for China: China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment
At that site, you may have to allow pop-ups by clicking on the yellow bar at the top of the page. Then you can choose the English version of the site and that takes you to:
From there you click on Find an Accredited Body which takes you to http://www.cnas.org.cn/english/findanaccreditedbody/index.shtml
And from there you click on Testing and Calibration Laboratories which takes you to http://126.96.36.199/AccSearchEN.asp?Class=L
If you then type the word toy into the field called "Product/Product Standard/Specification/Parameter/Characteristics", you get 50 results. After that, if you type the name of the city where your your toys are into the field called Address, you will hopefully get the local labs. For example, Shanghai gives the following results:
List Of Accredited Laboratories Shanghai Institute of Measurement and Testing Technology (National Center of Measurement and Testing for East China/National Center of Testing Technology, Shanghai)
Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services Shanghai Co., Ltd.
Shanghai Fang Yuan Toys Inspection Institute
You then click on the lab that is closest or most appropriately named, and hopefully you can find a phone number and someone at the end of the phone who speaks English!
In case it helps, after attending the Toy Fair in Melbourne last year, I wrote the following factsheet for our website: A fact sheet for Australian toy importers and traders which includes:
If your toys are still at the factory overseas, you can organise testing in one of the SGS labs overseas, accredited for the toy tox test, by contacting:
SGS Australia Pty Ltd
480 Princes Highway, Noble Park, VIC 3174, Australia
Phone: (03) 9790-3479. Fax: (03) 9701-0988
Good luck with the process.
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