Manufacturing & Distribution
Manufacturers, distributors (including retailers), and importers of many products, particularly those for children, must comply with a range of regulations and certification standards to operate with minimum risk of costly recalls and regulatory sanctions.
Children’s Apparel & Sleepwear
Regulation of children’s apparel and sleepwear falls under the Flammable Fabrics Act. Arent Fox has counseled manufacturers on a range of related issues, including:
- Negotiating with the CPSC for use of a new flame retardant on children’s sleepwear.
- Counseling on the development of a new hypoallergenic standard for children’s products.
- Managing recalls of children’s apparel, including extensive recalls of children’s sleepwear (for flammability reasons) and leggings (due to a detachable small part), as well as apparel with components containing lead in surface coatings or in substrate materials (buttons, snaps, etc.).
- Managing recalls of children’s footwear containing small parts.
Electronics & Electrical Products
Arent Fox has significant experience on safety issues with electronics and electrical goods. Examples of matters include:
- Evaluating regulatory and enforcement risks associated with electric air fresheners.
- Managing a recall program for electrical pottery-throwing kits and other types of electrical home-use items.
- Counseling a Fortune 100 company on development of safety labeling for in-car portable DVD consoles.
- Conducting product assessment using National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data to evaluate whether a leading video game platform induced epileptic seizures.
- Participated in development of revisions to ASTM safety standard for plug-in air fresheners with child-appealing features.
- Managing recalls of home video game consoles and adapters.
Home & Office Furniture
Arent Fox advises clients on home and office furnishings. Examples of matters include:
- Consulting with the CPSC on an investigation of potential noncompliance of a line of office chairs with federal structural load standards.
- Advising clients on CPSC rulemaking regarding mattresses.
- Monitoring household furniture flammability standards.
Household Consumer Goods
Arent Fox represents manufacturers of a wide variety of household products. Examples of matters we have handled for these clients include:
- Counseling a maker of brand-name cookware on product assessment and providing recommendations for product redesign to minimize regulatory risk.
- Managing recalls of leading brands of fragrant decorative candles due to flame performance and fragrance load.
- Managing several extensive recalls of various glassware products due to allegedly undue breakage risk and negotiating the settlement of a civil penalty proceeding alleging a failure to report the hazard to the Commission promptly.
- On behalf of a distributor of private-labeled coffee pods intended for use with another company’s brewing system, successfully persuading the CPSC (and counterpart Canadian authorities) that the defect was in the brewing system itself and that the pods were not defective and not subject to recall.
- Managing recalls of table top torch products, fragrance warmers, and other products involving use of an open flame.
Toys & Children’s Products
The CPSC regulates all children’s products, such as toys and games, balloons, small balls and marbles, children’s clothing and sleepwear, bicycles, and bicycle helmets. Recent matters handled include:
- Managing recalls of baby cribs involving distribution of reconditioning kits to consumers to address defective parts.
- Managing a recall of lead-containing children’s products.
- Evaluating potentially dangerous products, such as yo-yo waterballs.
- Managing recalls of children’s furniture, including bunk beds and futon beds.
- Counseling on compliance with federal and state standards for markings on imitation and toy firearm products.
- Managing recalls of children’s bicycles with defective gear assemblies.
- Managing a recall of plug in nightlight/flashlights.
Other Consumer Goods
- Managing the recall of aftermarket mechanical assemblies for All Terrain Vehicles (“ATVs”).
- Managing recalls of gas generators, power/pressure washers, holiday lights/ornamental light products, space heaters, etc.