Your regular update for technical and industry information

Your regular update for technical and industry information

USA: CPSC publishes final rule for exemption for certain fibers from heavy elements and phthalates testing 


On 1 June 2020, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) publishes the final rule1 in the Federal Register for the exemption for specific unfinished manufactured fibers in children’s toys and child care articles from third party testing of ASTM F963 elements and phthalates. 16 CFR part 1253 is newly created. This final rule comes five months after the end of public consultation2 and it will come into effect from 1 July 2020.

Specific fibers are assessed and concluded that they will comply with CPSC’s requirements with a high degree of assurance. Third party testing is determined to be not required.

Summary of 16 CFR part 1253




Applicable material

Unfinished manufactured fiber* exempted 

ASTM F963 elements


Solubility limit



  • Antimony (Sb)

  • Arsenic (As)

  • Barium (Ba)

  • Cadmium (Cd)

  • Chromium (Cr)

  • Lead (Pb)

  • Mercury (Hg)

  • Selenium (Se)

  • 60 ppm

  • 25 ppm

  • 1000 ppm

  • 75 ppm

  • 60 ppm

  • 90 ppm

  • 60 ppm

  • 500 ppm

16 CFR 1250

Children’s toy that can be sucked, mouthed, or ingested

Surface coatings;

accessible substrates

  1. Nylon;

  2. Polyurethane (Spandex);

  3. Viscose Rayon;

  4. Acrylic and Modacrylic;

  5. Natural Rubber Latex.




  • Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)

  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)

  • Diisononyl phthalate (DINP)

  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)


0.1% each

16 CFR 1307

Children’s toy; Child care article

Accessible plasticised component

  1. Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate, PET);

  2. Nylon;

  3. Polyurethane (Spandex);

  4. Viscose Rayon;

  5. Acrylic and Modacrylic;

  6. Natural Rubber Latex.

 * Fiber that has no chemical additives beyond those required to manufacture it.

The report conducted by the contractor pointed out that colourants often contain metals in their structure, some of the specified phthalates could be used as dye auxiliaries or carriers for pigments, and finishes such as flame retardants may also contain heavy metals. Dyed or finished fibers are therefore out of the scope of this rule. In addition, it is reported that antimony compounds are used in the manufacture of undyed and unfinished PET; it is therefore not exempted from ASTM F963 elements testing.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) requires that certification for children’s products must be based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body. In order to reduce the cost of testing for manufacturers, the CPSC has carried out assessments and waived third party testing for various materials in recent years, including seven plastics3 and engineered wood products4.

CPSC stressed that the children’s toys or child care articles’ compliance must always be assured irrespective of any testing exemptions. Even though the hazardous chemicals may be present as a trace material, or as a contaminant, their concentrations must be below the specified limits and a certificate of compliance is also required.


[1]  Notice of final rule regarding 16 CFR 1253

[2]  USA: CPSC reduces testing burden on heavy elements and phthalates for certain fibers

[3]  USA: CPSC updates the laboratory acceptance and exemption on certain plastics for final phthalates rules, Feb 2018

[4]  USA CPSC relieves engineered wood products from third party testing, July 2018

Next Steps

Site Selector