EPA Enters Debate On Cadmium Limits

PPAI has learned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has entered the debate over the appropriate amounts of cadmium that should be present in various products. The EPA is not regulating the amounts of cadmium; rather it is requesting additional information about the health effects of the substance. It has issued a rule that requires manufacturers (including importers) of cadmium or cadmium compounds, including as part of an article, that have been, or are reasonably likely to be, incorporated into consumer products, to report unpublished health and safety studies to the EPA.

The EPA has the authority to request such information under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) so that it can decide whether to conduct further testing products with cadmium for regulation.

It should be noted that this inquiry is not limited to children’s products. The EPA is conducting this independent of Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act (CPSIA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) regulatory authority. The EPA requirement covers “consumer products” which are “any product that is sold or made available to consumers for their use in or around a permanent or temporary household or residence, in or around a school, or in or around recreational areas.”

If the EPA finds outs later that someone failed to submit the studies or reports, it has the authority to pursue significant penalties for the failure to submit the reports under the TSCA.

While it may sound somewhat convoluted, the EPA took this same path with respect to lead, and those efforts facilitated the CPSC’s and ultimately Congress’ regulation of lead. The types of studies and information companies may possess that are subject to this requirement are too technical to include here but the EPA’s rule can be viewed here.

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