Glossary: Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)

The federal government agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is charged with protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. CPSC laws impacting mattress manufacturers include CPSC 1632 and 1633 flammability testing requirements and the new CPSIA lead and phthalates testing requirements.

16 CFR Part 1632: CPSC-administered mattress flammability standard issued pursuant to the Flammable Fabrics Act that requires new mattresses sold in the United States (including Puerto Rico) to resist ignition from a smoldering heat source (such as a lit cigarette).

16 CFR Part 1633: CPSC-administered mattress flammability standard issued pursuant to the Flammable Fabrics Act that requires mattresses sold in the United States (including Puerto Rico) to resist ignition from an open-flame heat source (such as a lit match, lighter or candle).

Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA): signed into law on August 14, 2008, set new content requirements and other requirements for certain children’s products. Source: Codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 2051−2089, October 18, 2008 version. 

For children’s products sold on or after August 14, 2009, no component may contain more than 300 parts per million (ppm) of lead. (The lead limit may be reduced to 100 ppm by August 14, 2011, if technologically feasible.) The law defines a children’s product as a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger.
In addition to the lead content limits noted above, the law requires that certain components be tested for lead content and that such testing information be included on the certificates of conformity that manufacturers are already required to issue with their products with regard to Part 1632, 1633 and other applicable standards (if any). The CPSC, however, has stayed enforcement of these new lead testing and certification requirements until February 10, 2011. This stay will allow the CPSC (and possibly Congress) time to clarify a number of complex issues involved with enforcing the new lead content provisions.

It is important to understand that the CPSC’s stay DOES NOT apply to the lead content requirement itself, and does not affect a manufacturer’s existing obligation to meet other lead content limits set in 16 CFR part 1303 (discussed below).

The CPSIA has exempted from the lead content limits and the lead testing/certification requirements internal mattress components that are physically inaccessible to a child and certain fabrics, fibers and other components.  Specifically, CPSC regulation 16 CFR Part 1500.91 exempts the following textile materials:

(i) Natural fibers (dyed or undyed) including, but not limited to, cotton, kapok, flax, linen, jute, ramie, hemp, kenaf, bamboo, coir, sisal, silk, wool (sheep), alpaca, llama, goat (mohair, cashmere), rabbit (angora), camel, horse, yak, vicuna, qiviut, guanaco;

(ii) Manufactured fibers (dyed or undyed) including, but not limited to, rayon, azlon, lyocell, acetate, triacetate, rubber, polyester, olefin, nylon, acrylic, modacrylic, aramid, spandex.

Aside from textiles that contain dyed fibers, the CPSC's regulation notes that textiles with "after-treatment applications, including screen prints, transfers, decals, or other prints" are excluded from this exemption.

Other exemptions from the CPSIA lead requirements that could be relevant to mattress producers include wood, paper and similar materials made from wood or other cellulosic fiber, and certain types of printing inks.
Note that these exemptions will not apply if a material, component, or product is altered in a way that may introduce lead in excess of the content limit to the product.

The combined impact of these exemptions will save mattress manufactures thousands of dollars in testing and compliance costs.

The CPSC is conducting a separate rulemaking to define testing and certification procedures for components in children’s products that do not qualify for these exemptions.

The CPSC has issued an enforcement policy for the lead requirements which details how the Commission will initially use its enforcement discretion to implement these new rules.

For those products and components that must be tested for lead, the CPSIA requires manufacturers to use a CPSC-accredited third party or in house testing labs. The CPSC has released its criteria for obtaining accreditation.  See also: list of accredited labs.


A second requirement that also took effect on February 10, 2009, bans the use of certain categories of phthalates in “child care articles." (It is unclear at this time whether a mattress designed or intended for use by children three years of age or younger is a child care article for these purposes). A "child care article" may not contain more than 0.1% of DEHP, DBP, and BBP, which are banned on a permanent basis, or DINP, DIDP, and DnOP, which are banned pending further review. Like lead, the phthalates provision requires manufacturers to use a CPSC-accredited third party or in-house lab to meet testing and certification requirements. Like lead, the CPSC has advised that physically inaccessible parts in finished products are exempt from the testing requirement.

Also in February 2009, the CPSC requested public comment on whether a mattress (and several other products) intended for children three and under is used to "facilitate sleep." ISPA submitted comments to the CPSC requesting that the agency find that mattresses are not child care articles for these purposes. If the CPSC determines that a mattress does not meet this definition, the new phthalates requirements would not apply to that product. At this time, the CPSC has not ruled on ISPA’s request.

CPSC-accredited testing labs.

The following is a list of labs that have been accredited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission as qualified to conduct 16 CFR 1632 and/or 16 CFR 1633 flammability testing for children’s and adult mattresses and bedding.  Also highlighted are those companies within this group that are qualified to conduct lead and phthalates testing-an additional requirement for products sold for use by children ages 12 and younger.

Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services
Phone: 716-505-3641
16 CFR 1632 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

Consumer Testing Laboratories Inc.
Phone: 479-636-8782
16 CFR 1632 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing.

Diversified Testing Laboratories
Phone: 336-227-7710
16 CFR 1632 tests

Element Materials Technology
Phone: 651-659-7521
16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests, plus lead testing

Govmark Organization
Phone: 631-293-8944
16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests

Intertek Testing Services
Phone: 616-656-1347
16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

Intertek Testing Services
Phone: 210-635-8100
16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

Milliken Pyroanalytical Center
Phone: 888-723-2876
16 CFR 1633 tests

QAI Laboratories
Phone: 918-437-8333
16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests

Sealy Inc. Regulatory Compliance Laboratory
Phone: 336-861-3997
16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests

SGS Life Science Services
Phone: 973-575-5252
16 CFR 1632 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

TouchStone Systems & Services
Phone: 616-532-0060
16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests

Phone: 847-664-3281
16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

Source: BedTimes Magazine, September 2014 Issue, Page 47

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