CPSC Decision to Defer Action on Mandatory Testing Programs Beneficial to Industry
November 14, 2011

by Sahely Mukerji, smukerji@glass.com

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is postponing its plan to specify and regulate the required content of “reasonable testing programs” of manufacturers of non-children's consumer products, including architectural glass, and this will save manufacturers of architectural  safety glazing materials time and money, industry members say.

“Depending on what the final requirements would have been and how it was implemented, the ruling could have had significant impact,” says John Kent, administrative manager, Safety Glazing Certification Council (SGCC) in Sackets Harbor, N.Y. “This likely would have included added cost and delays in production due to increased regulatory requirements.”

SGCC has always and will continue to maintain that the SGCC certification and testing process is a reasonable testing program for a safety glass fabricator, Kent says. “Likely SGCC will stay the course, which includes regular oversight, review and adjustments in the SGCC certification and testing process, if deemed appropriate by SGCC’s balanced industry and public interest governance.”

 “The proposed rule published in the Federal Registrar on May 20, 2010, to define the five elements of a reasonable testing program for manufacturers of architectural  safety glazing materials could have imposed added costs and delays to the manufacturing process, says Kevin Olah, director of Office of Homologation, Guardian Industries Corp. in Auburn Hills, Mich.

“A ‘material change’ as defined in the proposed rule, could have a negative effect on the manufacturing process by requiring certification testing, as opposed to production testing,” he says. “The comments submitted by GANA [Glass Association of North America] and SGCC provided the information needed for CPSC to understand the manufacturing process in our industry.
“It was nice to see the glass industry come together and submit comments through GANA and SGCC to the original proposed rulemaking with a positive outcome for the industry," Olah says.

Tracking of raw materials and identification of products is a beneficial practice for the glass and glazing industry, says Julia Schimmelpenningh, global architectural applications manager of Advanced Interlayers - Solutia Inc. in Springfield, Mass. “It helps with products, facilitates rapid response and resolution in the case of issues and even helps the end user with replacements - should the time come,” she says. “The fact that CPSC has focused their attention to children's products at this point will be a relief to some. The U.S. glass industry tends to do a very good job of policing itself, there are likely some organizations that were scrambling to get their systems in place and running smoothly the way it seemed CPSC was going to require. Although it may not be the federal government demanding tracking in the near future, it's likely to become an even larger part of our everyday production lives in the not so distant future."

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