Consumer Product Safety

We are putting the spotlight on product safety! See how the Consumer Product Safety Committee is making changes to further verify the safety of consumer products and learn what steps we take to keep Crestline’s products safe and compliant with all product safety standards.

Why is product safety so important to us?

When you order promotional products from Crestline, we know that it is our duty to make sure that the items that you purchase help to represent your brand in a way that is true to what you stand for. One of the ways that we do this is by making sure that the products that we provide you with are compliant with social, environmental, and product safety standards. We are here to enhance your reputation by providing you with products that will add value to your brand and not diminish it. When you shop with us, we protect your brand as if it were our own.

How do we ensure compliance?

We do our best to guarantee the safety of our products by following regulations set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that was implemented in 2008. This act was created in response to multiple product safety missteps in the following year, a year that is referred to widely as the Year of the Recall. 2007 brought forth product recalls spanning from spinach to peanut butter, plastic Mattel toys to wooden Thomas Train toys. After this, it was clear that reform was necessary for the consumer product industry.

What is CPSIA?

CPSIA is a federal act that requires the consumer product industry to adhere to strict industry standards. It set forth significant new guidelines for product safety as well as significant new responsibility for the Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC). Included in the act are as follows:

  • Mandatory third-party testing on the following:
    • Lead in substrate
    • Lead in paint and surface coatings
    • Some phthalates
  • Mandatory children product certificates
  • Mandatory tracking labels
  • Some previously voluntary standards also became mandatory

Understanding CPSIA

In order to fully understand what measures are being taken to protect consumer products under CPSIA as well as to understand how Crestline is working to protect your brand, we will take a deeper look at each point mentioned in the bullets above.

Children’s Products

A great deal of CPSIA regulations pertains specifically to children’s products. What is considered a children’s product?  A children’s product is described as any product, article or toy that is marketed to or intended for use by anyone age 12 and under. Size and shape, materials used, number or parts and motor skills required to use are all taken into account when determining what items are safe for children. Note, any consumer product that is marketed to children is considered to be a children’s product and must meet all safety requirements for children.

Lead in Substrate

Substrate applies to the material of which something is made of and to which surface coating (your imprint) may be applied to. As of Aug. 14, 2011, the CPSIA introduced a lead content limit on substrate materials requiring that they have no more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of lead. If the item at hand is a children’s product, it requires a certificate that proves its lead content is 100ppm or less. Some exemptions do apply to certain inaccessible materials and electronic components.

Surface Coating

Any surface coating (design, imprint) may only have 90ppm of lead. The maximum lead amount is lower in surface coating because this is the part of the product that is more likely to chip off, rub off, and therefore faces a higher risk of being ingested.


Phthalates are a group of chemicals that can be used to make plastic materials more flexible or hard. Phthalates may be found in soft of flexible plastics, soft or flexible rubber, foam rubber/plastic, surface coatings such as non-slip coatings, finishes, and printed designs, elastic material, and adhesives.  In the U.S. children’s toys and child-care articles cannot contain concentrations of more than 0.1% of di-(2 ethyl hexyl) phthalates (DEPH),  Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or  Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).  This ban applies only to children’s toys and child-care articles.

There is an interim ban on three additional phthalates for any items that can be placed in a child’s mouth. Those phthalates, Diisononyl Phthalate (DINP), Diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), and Dioctyl Phthalate (DnOP) are not allowed in concentrations exceeding 0.1%.

In order to ensure compliance, third party testing for phthalates and certification is mandatory for children’s toys and child-care articles.

Testing and Certification

Third-party testing and certification are required to provide proof of compliance. A children’s product certificate is required for all items intended or marketed to children. In the case of promotional products, it is likely that two certificates may be necessary for one product since custom imprints alter the composition of a product. If your product was imprinted after being tested and certified, it will be tested again to ensure that the materials used for the imprint are also compliant.

Tracking Labels

Tracking labels were made mandatory  by the CPSC for all children’s products as of Aug. 14, 2009. This applies to all children’s products including apparel, writing instruments, drinkware, and toys.

Tracking labels are important because they help to enhance recall effectiveness. A tracking label must include the name of the manufacturer, month, and year that the item was manufactured, city and state that it was made in, batch number of the product or internal order number, and manufacturer contact information. Tracking labels must be attached permanently to the item; they are not intended to be removed. In order to save room for smaller items, some manufactures may create a shortened URL that can be typed into a web browser to find full tracking information.

tracking label info

Example of required tracking label information. This label would be permanently attached to the product.

Ensuring Compliance

Crestline takes our customer’s safety and the safety of the products that we carry very seriously. At any time if you have safety questions or concerns about a product you have purchased or are considering purchasing, we will gladly provide you with any materials you request to ensure safety and compliance.

As part of our commitment to protecting your brand, we make sure to always use preferred partners that provide quality, dependability, and understanding of product safety. We independently test when necessary to further validate prior product testing. We have an on-site Product Responsibility and Global Services Manager as well as a full-time Product Safety Department.

As a customer, you can help to make sure that the products you order are safe for your needs. Always be honest with your sales rep about your intent to use and distribute products.


Click here for a more in-depth look at details of CPSIA. 

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