Law Review, Toxic Art Products, Kids, Find Info, CPSC, Las Vegas, Personal Injury Lawyer Reserch

Law Review, Toxic Art Products, Kids, Find Info, CPSC, Las Vegas, Personal Injury Lawyer Research

On November 18, 1988, the President signed into law the

Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (Public Law 100-

695).This law requires that all art materials be reviewed to

determine the potential for causing a chronic hazard and

that appropriate warning labels be put on those art materials found to pose a chronic hazard. The term “art material”

includes “any substance marketed or represented by the

producer or repackager as suitable for use in any phase of

the creation of any work of visual or graphic art of any

medium.” (15 U.S.C. 1277(b)(1). The law applies to many

children’s toy products such as crayons, chalk, paint sets,

modeling clay, coloring books, pencils, and any other products used by children to produce a work of visual or graphic art.

The “Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act” (LHAMA)

amended the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA)

by adding Section 23 and designating the ASTM Standard

Practice for Labeling Art Materials for Chronic Health

Hazards (ASTM D-4236-88) as a regulation under Section

3(b) of the FHSA.The requirements of the LHAMA became

effective on November 18,1990.These requirements apply

to art materials that are intended for use in the household

or by children, which are initially introduced into interstate

commerce on and after November 18, 1990.

The Commission believes that under the broad statutory

definition of “art material” three general categories can be


1. Those products which actually become a component of

the work of visual or graphic art, such as paint, canvas,

inks, crayons, chalk, solder, brazing rods, flux, paper,

clay, stone, thread, cloth, and photographic film.

2. Those products which are closely and intimately associated with the creation of the final work of art, such as

brush cleaners, solvents, ceramic kilns, brushes, silk

screens, molds or mold making material, and photo

developing chemicals.

3. Those tools, implements, and furniture that are used in

the process of the creation of a work of art, but do not

become part of the work of art. Examples are drafting

tables and chairs, easels, picture frames, canvas

stretchers, potter’s wheels, hammers, chisels, and air

pumps for air brushes.

The CPSC does not believe that Congress intended products in the third category to be considered “art materials.”

Therefore, as an enforcement policy, the CPSC is not

requiring that products falling in this third category comply

with the standard for art materials. However, manufacturers

still have the responsibility under the FHSA to assure that

these products comply with any FHSA labeling or other

requirements due to chronic toxicity or other hazards.

Parents and others buying art materials, school supplies and toys such as crayons, paint sets, or modeling

clay should be alert and purchase only those products

which are accompanied by the statement “Conforms to

ASTM D-4236.”

The LHAMA does not change the fact that products which

are hazardous are banned for distribution to young children, whether the hazard is based on chronic toxicity,

acute toxicity, flammability, or other hazard identified by the

FHSA. There is an exception for art materials if they meet

all three of the exemption criteria of Section 2(q) of the

FHSA in that they: (1) require the inclusion of the hazardous substances for their functional purpose, (2) bear

labeling giving adequate directions and warnings for safe

use, and (3) are intended for use by children who have

attained sufficient maturity, and may reasonably be expected, to read and heed such directions and warnings.

For more information on the requirements for art materials,

contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,

Division of Regulatory Management, Office of Compliance

and Enforcement, Washington, DC 20207, telephone: 301 -


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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