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Labeling of lead in products -Reply

Mary Dominiak, who is Co-Chair of EPA's Consumer Labeling Initiative
(CLI) project and a member of the Society for Chemical Hazard
Communication (SCHC), sent me the following comments to share with

The original message indicated that this is a consumer product, but even
if it were an industrial/commercial one, the answer is pretty much the
same.  The labeling of consumer products is mandated by the Federal
Hazardous Substances Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, and the
Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act, all overseen by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission.  Industrial/commercial products are subject
to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

All of these authorities require that any product containing a hazardous
substance be appropriately labeled.  The burden is on the manufacturer
to warn properly, and there is not a finite list of substances to which
these requirements apply.  In other words, if the manufacturer knows
that a substance is hazardous within the definitions provided in these
legal authorities -- and lead definitely qualifies -- the manufacturer is
required to warn, even if there hasn't been a specific rule published
about the individual substance.  Appropriate warning includes the
identification of the manufacturer, the identification of the hazardous
substance, the nature of the hazard, proper care to observe in order to
minimize the risk, and what to do in case of accidental exposure or
release.  FHSA, CPSA, and LHAMA rely on the product label as the
warning device; the OSHA HazCom Standard uses a combination of
labels, Material Safety Data Sheets, and workplace placarding.

The FHSA can be found at 15 U.S.C. 1261-1278; the CPSA is at 15
U.S.C. 2051-2084; the CPSC regulations on consumer product labeling
are at 16 CFR 1500 et seq.; and the OSHA HazCom Standard is at 29
CFR 1910 et seq.

In the CPSC rules, you may well find certain specific labeling mandates
on certain chemicals; I don't recall offhand whether lead has its own
special preset requirements, but it is *definitely* subject to the general
duty to warn.  There may be specific instances in which the use of the
chemical has been banned outright in consumer products; the CPSC
rules would be the place to check.

It's worth noting, too -- as the other commenter said -- that there are
guidelines specifying what constitutes a de minimis amount of a
hazardous substance (an amount that doesn't require labeling).  Those
guidelines can be found in the specific CPSC and OSHA labeling rules at
the CFR citations given in my previous response.

Another source of information:  The Society for Chemical Hazard
Communication (SCHC) is comprised of hazard communicators -- the
people who actually have to analyze hazard data and create labels and
MSDSs -- mostly from industry, and is a great source of information on
chemical hazard labeling and related requirements worldwide.  Their
website is at www.schc.org


Mary is not on the listserve, but feel free to contact her at

Susan McLaughlin
Program Manager, US EPA's Environmental Accounting Project
Phone:  (202) 260-3844
Fax: (202) 260-0178
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (MC-7409)
401 M Street SW
Washington, D.C.  20460

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Hey guys,

I have a question regarding the labeling of products that contain lead. I
searched on the Internet in OSHA and EPA for this topic and can't seem to
any definite information.

We have a manufacturer that is making a product that contains some lead in it 
(yes, I know that it is hazardous. They have searched for a substitute but
is nothing at the current time.). This is a consumer product that goes into 
homes and military bases. Currently it is labeled as to "Keep out of the
of children." There is no labeling anywhere as to the fact that it does

In addition, they are shipping the product across the US and possibly
Nowhere on the boxes is any mention that the product contains lead.

What I am looking for is what are the labeling requirements for lead?
What reporting requirements do they have- with the EPA or OSHA? 

Thank you.

Kirsten Koepsel
Kirsten M. Koepsel
Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center
7300 Jack Newell Blvd., South
Fort Worth, TX  76118

817-272-5977 (fax)
kkoepsel@arri.uta.edu (e-mail)

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