ECHA Seeks Public Consultation on Six Potential Substances of Very High Concern

On Sep 4, 2018, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) launched its public consultation of on six potential Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). The six proposed substances in the consultation are listed as below. The deadline for commenting is October 19, 2018.

The six additional substances application of the SVHC list are as follows:

1. 2,2-bis(4′-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methylpentane: The majority of patents are for use in polymers, other minor uses include drugs/biocides, surface coatings, inks, adhesives etc.

2. Benzo[k]fluoranthene: Uses include coatings, adhesives, road and construction application and cleaning agents.

3. Fluoranthene: Uses include coatings, adhesives, road and construction application and cleaning agents

4. Phenanthrene: Uses in Coatings and paints, uses in road and construction application, in binders or release agents, uses in lubricants, in cleaning agents

5. Pyrene: Uses in coatings, uses in road and construction applications, in binders or agents, cleaning agents

6. Undecafluorohexanoic acid and its ammonium salt: Its precursors can be used as surfactants or as monomers for the production of side-chain fluorinated polymers.

California Passes Flame Retardant Bill on Juvenile Products and Upholstered Furniture

On August 29, 2018, California’s legislature has passed a bill AB 2998, banning the use of flame retardants in juvenile products, upholstered furniture and mattresses.

Flame retardant has the properties of carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity and endocrine interference. This bill stipulates that from January 1, 2020, manufacturers shall not sell or distribute in commerce in this state any new, not previously owned juvenile products, mattresses, or upholstered furniture that contains covered flame retardant chemicals at levels above 1000 parts per million (1000 ppm). Also, a custom upholsterer shall not repair, reupholster, recover, restore, or renew upholstered furniture or reupholstered furniture using replacement components that contain covered flame retardant chemicals at levels above 1000 parts per million (1000 ppm). 

San Francisco Bans PFASs in Food Service Ware

On August 31, 2018, San Francisco approved Ordinance No. 201-18 which amends the city’s existing Environmental Code on single-use food ware plastics, toxic chemicals, and litter reduction. This regulation is meant to ban single-use food service ware containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). This regulation shall enter into force on 1 January 2020.

According to the new regulation, single-use articles such as bowls, plates, trays, cups, lids, straws, and utensils are required to be “fluorinated chemical free”. Accessories such as condiment packets, chopsticks, cup sleeves, napkins, stirrers, and toothpicks are also covered by the amendment. All the restaurants, food retailers, vendors, city contractors, and city departments shall comply with this regulation.

Latest Product Recalls August 2018

Download the latest product recalls to identify unsafe consumer products. Remember that safety recalls don’t expire, so check our news page regularly.

Consumer Product Recalls August 2018

HQTS is accredited to test against all major regulatory standards for the import of consumer goods.

You can rely on the expertise and technical resources of HQTS’ consumer product testing to help ensure your compliance with relevant regulations, as well as your own technical specifications.

With HQTS, you benefit from the skills and expertise of the industry’s foremost leaders, veteran engineers and award winning staff in our 80,000 sq ft laboratory, centrally located in Hangzhou, China. Whatever the scope or complexity of your project, you can count on the accuracy and reliability of HQTS with the most competitive pricing, fastest delivery times in the industry, and the support of a single point of contact for all your testing projects; this personalized approach has established us as one of the most respected labs in China.

Contact us to obtain additional information about how we can help you with your consumer product testing needs.

New York State to Expand BPA Ban to Substitution Chemicals

On July 24, 2018, New York State issued a bill to ban BPA substitution chemicals in children’s products. The bill would amend the “Bisphenol A-free Children and Babies Act” in the Environmental Conservation Law that prohibits the sale of children’s products containing BPA, and is scheduled to become effective on December 31, 2019.

The draft amendment includes the ban of the bisphenol-based substitutes bisphenol S (BPS, CAS 80-09-1), bisphenol F (BPF, CAS 620-92-8), bisphenol AP (BPAP, CAS 1571-75-1), bisphenol AF (BPAF, CAS 1478-61-1), bisphenol B (BPB, CAS 77-40-7), and bisphenol Z (BPZ, CAS 843-55-0).

BPA is used to make plastic hard, shatterproof and to extend the shelf life of canned food. It can leach out of products. BPA is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can negatively impact the body’s hormones, even potentially at very low levels. In both animal and human studies, the chemical has been linked to multiple health impacts in exposed babies and children, including obesity, asthma, low birth weights and genital defects. The bill was initiated after the publication of a study on BPA substitutes showing estrogenic effects of all six bisphenols in breast cancer cells.

EU Publishes the Latest List of Harmonized Standards for Implementing Directive 2009/48/EC on Toy Safety

On August 10, 2018, the European Union (EU) published Commission Communication 2018/C 282/02 to announce the latest list of toy safety standards for presumption of conformity with Directive 2009/48/EC (Toy Safety Directive, TSD). This list contains, five new EN 71 standards and an important amendment to EN 71-7:2014 +A2:2018 which strengthens the concentration of climbazole allowed in finger paints.

US Approves Final Revisions to Jewelry Guides

On July 24, 2018 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the final revision to the “Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries” (16 CFR 23) to help prevent deception in jewelry marketing.

The Guides explain to businesses how to avoid making deceptive claims about precious metal, pewter, diamond, gemstone, and pearl products, and when they should make disclosures to avoid unfair or deceptive trade practices.

Specifically, the revisions address (1) surface application of precious metals, (2) alloys with precious metals in amounts below minimum thresholds, (3) products containing more than one precious metal, (4) composite gemstone products, (5) varietals, (6) “cultured” diamonds, (7) qualifying claims about man-made gemstone products, (8) pearl treatment disclosures, (9) use of the term “gem,” (10) misleading illustrations, (11) the definition of “diamond,” and (12) exemptions recognized in the assay for gold, silver, and platinum.

The revisions also remove outdated or redundant provisions, guide marketing of certain products to more accurately represent their properties and remove existing restrictions on product marketing that are unnecessary to prevent deception.

Yoshida Staff Commended for Outstanding Performance

When it comes to quality expectations, Japanese are famous for their high standards. The staff at Yoshida Sorting Inspection Company, wholly-owned by HQTS Group, believes there is no such thing as an exacting client, but rather substandard services.

In the middle of year, most of textiles and apparel factories are now entering the peak period of production and shipment. So does Yoshida sorting inspection factories.

Recently one of our client’s suppliers made an error in not correctly arranging the shipment date. When the logistics company delivered the products to our sorting inspection factory, the schedule was already behind. To avoid the risk of missing the product launch date, our client was forced to arrange air transport to Japan. Meeting this sense of urgency, Yoshida staff pulled out all the stops to ensure the fastest possible inspection process to ensure the delivery date could be met. This included extra shifts, working overtime, and sending one inspection team to supplier’s facility to conduct some inspections to save time for our client.

All products were delivered on time through the combined efforts of our Yoshida team, the supplier and client representatives. Our client in Japan was very happy with the result and appreciated the extra effort on their behalf. They look forward to further cooperation with Yoshida.

US Proposed to Amend Reporting Rules under Toxic Free Kids Act (OAR 333-016)

Oregon State USA Health Authority (OHA) has proposed to amend Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 333-016 regarding notification requirements for children’s products under Toxic Free Kids Act. Here are the highlights of the proposal:

High priority chemicals of concern for children’s health (HPCCCH) (OAR 333-016-2020)

The OHA drafted the following changes to the list of high priority chemicals of concern. If approved, the number of listed chemicals shall become 68.

a)     Chemicals proposed to be added:

b)    Chemicals proposed to be removed:

Notification requirements (OAR 333-016-2060)

The proposal intended to clarify 3 points about the notification requirements:

1. The notification shall report the number of children’s product that contain HPCCCH either sold or offered for sale in Oregon during the biennial notice period.

2. The second notification shall cover the period of 1 January 2018 through 31 December 2019.

3. Only one person or entity that falls within the definition of manufacturer* shall be required to report with respect to the particular children’s product. The priority of reporting responsibility shall follow this order:

1) Any person or entity that manufactured the children’s product, unless it has no presence in the United States;
2) Any person or entity that distributed or made available for distribution the children’s product, unless it has no presence in the United States;
3) The importer or owner of the children’s product in the United States;

* According to Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 431A.253, “manufacturer” means any person that produces a children’s product or an importer or domestic distributor of a children’s product. For the purpose of this subsection of the ORS, “importer” means the owner of the children’s product.

HQTS Specialized Technical Team Hits a Home Run

HQTS deploys specialized technical teams to assess and develop specifications for non-standard products. They have accumulated rich experience in various product categories over more than two decades. As the complexity of customer requirements for high-tech products increases while time to market decreases, the product development and production comes under significant pressure. This often translates to considerable pressure on the quality assurance service provider to more quickly align with customer requirements.

HQTS recently received an order from a new client that had designed a new type of electrical motor. Because it was quite different from standard motors, our specialized technical team was tasked with developing an entirely new set of inspection protocols and checklists within a very short time. The senior team leaders spent considerable time analyzing the client specifications and requirements documents. They looked for points of similarity with other electrical products and developed new inspections criteria where there was no match. Collating this information, the team developed a new set of QA standards, as well as a new inspection report template that aligned with the product’s complex characteristics. They used this information to train our electrical products inspectors in the field to carry out the inspection according to the new quality assurance protocols.

The client was quite satisfied with our efforts and applauded the results. They highly commended the HQTS technical and inspection team stating, “your report is clear and easy to understand, and we like the format. We are currently using another third-party QC provider in Ningbo but have decided to shift all our business to you”.

HQTS is proud to recognize our teams and staff who expend significant personal effort in behalf of our clients. They continue to build on the outstanding reputation for technical excellence and professionalism HQTS has long enjoyed.