5 Things You Should Know about Product Safety
Product safety is important in the consumer products industry. It is an especially hot topic in the past few years as and when substandard products of enterprises have been recalled by the relevant regulatory authorities in many places in the world. The common chemical standards in the bags industry are REACH for European Union and Prop 65 for importing to USA. Depending on the type of products, there may be additional physical testing requirements. For example, some child related goods would need to be tested for small parts. There are 5 things we would like to share about product safety:
1, You don't need to test everything. SGS, UL and Intertek can help
As of today, there are 172 chemical substances listed under REACH SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) Candidate List; and there are over 950 substances listed under Prop 65.
Overwhelmed by the chemical standards? Don’t worry! You can actually send the product concerned to any international testing lab such as SGS, UL and Intertek. They will be more than happy to perform risk assessments on your product. They will inform you the high-risk areas and propose a test plan for you. This does not only make the situation much easier, you can also save testing cost by only testing the high-risk areas.
2, Save cost through combining tests
For further cost saving, most labs allow composite test for a maximum of 3 components in 1 test group and this will help to save cost on the testing. However, if only 1 component fails the test, the lab may need to retest or further analyze to narrow down which component has caused the fail results.
3, Have a tight schedule to catch? Consider their expedited service
The lead-time of chemical testing may take up to 10 – 14 days. Some tests can be speeded up if you pay extras to expedite the service, but not all tests can be expedited. It never hurts to check with the lab if you are under time constraint.
4, Sign up for newsletters and alerts
Feeling that the product safety regulations are updating too frequently and it is getting difficult to keep track of them? You can consider subscribing to SGS newsletters and alerts. SGS will give you weekly update on the latest new product standards, regulations and test methods.
5, REACH is more than just SVHC
For products sold to European Union, many would concentrate on the Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list of REACH. However, please do not forget about Annex XVII which is the actual restricted substances list for European Union.
For further information about Prop 65, please visit OEHHA (Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment): http://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65. For REACH, please visit ECHA (European Chemicals Agency): http://echa.europa.eu/web/guest
We hope this helps. Please feel free to leave your comments if you have any.