Original Press Release
ACLASS to Accredit Testing Laboratories Under New CPSC Requirements for Safety of Children's Products
Press release date: September 22, 2008
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board / ACLASS announced today that ACLASS will begin accrediting testing laboratories under new Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requirements for the safe manufacture of children's products.
According to prerequisites defined in Public Law 110-314 - the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) - manufacturers and private labelers must submit samples of certain children's products for testing by an independent laboratory before those products can be imported, warehoused or sold in the United States. The requirements apply to any product manufactured more than 90 days after the Commission has announced its conditions for conformance with a specific safety rule; the first item for CPSC action will address lead paint.
The CPSIA also dictates that testing must be conducted by laboratories that are accredited against the international standard ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The standard defines how laboratories shall demonstrate that they operate a quality system, are technically competent, and are able to generate technically valid results.
"Third-party testing is a key step in the process to provide parents with assurances that the products being used by their children are safe," said ACLASS Vice President of Lab Accreditation Keith Greenaway. "ACLASS accreditation can be used as a tool to demonstrate to CPSC and Congress; manufacturers, importers and retailers; and to the general public that a testing laboratory is competent and capable."
The CPSIA legislation further requires that the accreditation bodies must themselves be recognized by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), a cooperation of more than 70 peer laboratory and inspection accreditation bodies around the world. The mutual recognition of test results issued by an ILAC-recognized body eliminates the need for customers to pursue costly multiple assessments and enhances the acceptance of products and services across national borders.
ACLASS became a signatory to the ILAC Arrangement in 2006.
"Qualification to provide accreditation services under the terms of the CPSIA is just the latest example of ACLASS' commitment to ensuring the safety of children's products," said Roger Muse, ACLASS Director of Sales and Marketing. "We were the only laboratory accreditation body to sit at the table with ANSI, the Toy Industry Association, and other stakeholders as the newly launched Toy Safety Certification Program was being developed."
"The ACLASS commitment to service ensures that the accreditation process is more than just the means to meet requirements," explained Greenaway. "ACLASS assessors have a high level of technical competence and effective communication skills that enhance the accreditation process and provide genuine value to our customers. We look forward to working with testing laboratories to ensure that they meet the requirements outlined in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act."
ACLASS' qualification under the CPSIA criteria is the latest enhancement to the ANSI-ANAB-ACLASS family of accreditation services. ANSI provides accreditation for Product Certification Programs, Personnel Certification Programs, and Standards Developers. ANAB accredits for management systems certification bodies, and the ACLASS brand offers accreditation services for testing and calibration laboratories, reference material producers, and inspection bodies.
ANSI is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.
The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). ANSI currently has offices in New York City and Washington, DC.
About ACLASS and ANAB
The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board / ACLASS provides laboratory accreditation for testing and calibration laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025, reference material producers (RMPs) to ISO Guide 34, and inspection bodies to ISO/IEC 17020. Additionally, ACLASS provides training services and customer accreditation programs for industry.
The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board / ANAB is the U.S. accreditation body for management systems. ANAB accredits certification bodies for ISO 9001 quality management systems (QMS), ISO 14001 environmental management systems (EMS), ISO 27001 information security management systems, ISO 22000 food safety management systems, ANSI/AIHA Z10 occupational health and safety management systems, and numerous industry-specific requirements. ANAB is a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and a signatory of the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangements (MLAs) for QMS and EMS. The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board is the only U.S. accreditation body with both ILAC and IAF recognition.