Fall/Winter Edition 2007

President's Message
From the Editor's Desk
Member News
News of Interest

Coming Events

COMING EVENTS

ICPHSO Annual Meeting and Training Symposium
February 18-21, 2008
The Capital Hilton
Washington, DC
Go to www.icphso.org for more information.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
The 15th annual ICPHSO symposium is fast approaching. We’re back in Washington and have a great agenda for you. As recent news reports relating to product safety show, safety is a global issue that needs global communication and commitment. We are continuing our commitment to make ICPHSO a truly international organization, and this year’s symposium reflects that commitment with Monday’s theme of Globalization and Product Safety. There will also be workshops and roundtables to update you on what’s happening in Congress and in the states. So take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear from and network with regulators, researchers, and other product safety experts from around the world. We will also be giving you an update on our transition to using an external resource to manage ICPHSO and enhance the benefits of membership. I look forward to seeing you at the symposium for what promises to be an exciting week.

Denise Pozen
President, ICPHSO

ICPHSO Signs Contract with Technical Enterprises, Inc. to Manage Organization

On September 5, 2007 President Denise Pozen signed a management services contract with Technical Enterprises, Inc. (TEI) to manage the day-to-day operations of ICPHSO. This historic contract was necessary for two important reasons: 1) the pending retirement of Executive Assistant Virginia Spitler, who handled most administrative and financial aspects of ICPHSO and 2) the realization that ICPHSO continues to grow and the demands on the limited part-time staff were becoming overwhelming.

TEI, located in Milwaukee, WI, was founded in 1986 to manage and grow not-for-profit associations/organizations and non-profit foundations. They currently manage eight associations, one foundation and one internet division. They average eleven years of contract service per client.

Twenty-two management association companies responded to ICPHSO’s Request for Proposal. Half of them were eliminated by cost factors. The remaining eleven were pared down to three and the final three were interviewed. TEI was the winner because of proven technical excellence, stability and enthusiasm.

Currently “old” ICPHSO is in the process of transferring all necessary information to “new” ICPHSO. This process will take 1-2 months and when finished, all day-to-day operations will be handled by TEI – to be referred to as ICPHSO headquarters (HQ). The initial cut-over date was November 1, 2007. The new telephone number will be: 414-908-4930, fax 414-768-8001.

Ross Koeser will remain as the Executive Director of ICPHSO and the ICPHSO HQ contact is Paul Rossmann. Both Ross and Paul are working closely to ensure a smooth transition. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Ross at 301-340-2191 or rkoeser@verizon.net.


Some of the staff of TEI, the new association management firm for ICPHSO. From front to back: Bonnie (wearing white; Customer Care Manager), Carrie (wearing red; Membership Manager), Paul Rossmann (dark green; ICPHSO Association Manager), Scott Sherer (far right, back row; Technical Enterprises, Inc. President), Rick Riesch (wearing white; Vice President, Finance), Roy Smith IV (wearing black stripes; Vice President of IT)

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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

I am in England with my wife visiting our daughter and her family – husband Andy, a pilot in the US Air Force and two young daughters. I rented a car because I wanted to see the English countryside. Most of you readers are international travelers and have rented cars in the UK and survived. But, I was not prepared for the shock of riding on the left side of the road, shifting with the left hand, round-abouts (always look right), narrower than narrow roads, and trucks traveling at 60 mph missing you by 9-½” and never slowing down. In addition, I rented one of those GPS travel guide systems where “Stephanie” supposedly guides you effortlessly during your travels – NOT. Now I’m sure some systems are better than others, but I would say that our “Stephanie” did not graduate at the top of her class. For example, she says “turn left” – I turn left; after ¼ mile I hear, “at first opportunity – turn around”. What did I do wrong? – I turn around and after another ¼ mile I hear at first opportunity – turn around”. OK, get the map out and strangle Stephanie.

I now more than ever understand the meaning of safety, because I never felt safe. Somehow I managed to not have an accident in 5 days, although many a British driver increased their curse word vocabulary over my driving.

Do not ever underestimate the power of prayer.

Ross Koeser
Executive Director, ICPHSO

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MEMBER NEWS

  1. Call for Applications to ICPHSO Board of Directors
  2. ICPHSO Member Authors Book on Child Safety
  3. ASTM’s Katherine Morgan Gets Promoted
  4. ANSI and TIA Team to Bolster Toy Safety
  5. Joe Mohorovic Joins Intertek
  6. Donald Moffett Leaves SGS

1. Call for Applications to ICPHSO Board of Directors
Have you been looking for an opportunity to share your leadership skills and contribute to the success of ICPHSO?

ICPHSO is seeking applications from members for at least 2 positions on the ICPHSO Board of Directors. The positions will become vacant in February 2008.

If you feel you have the commitment to make a strong contribution to the continuing success of ICPHSO, we would like to hear from you. Please visit our website www.icphso.org for more information and to download an application form. Complete the application form and send with a current resume to:

Jack Walsh, Chair of Nominating Committee at jackwalsh39@aol.com.

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2. ICPHSO Member Authors Book on Child Safety
Dorothy Drago, MA, MPH, an ICPHSO member from the very beginning, proudly announces the publication of her first book, From Crib to Kindergarten: The Essential Child Safety Guide (The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD).

Injury prevention is not just common sense. Caregivers need to be able to recognize hazards in order to eliminate or reduce them. While some hazards, like small parts, are fairly well recognized, others, like soft bedding, may not be. Parents and caregivers need to be taught about those not-so-obvious hazards—and they need to be motivated to make necessary changes.

Dotty has taken this opportunity to present safety information in very readable text, nicely illustrated, and written specifically for the lay public. In a substantive introduction, she explains the basis for injury, and why children are particularly vulnerable to injury. The chapter emphasizes that children are at risk for different types of injuries at different ages because of their varying developmental skills.

Subsequent chapters respectively address hazards associated with sleeping, eating, bathing and dressing, playing, and travel. Each chapter offers injury prevention tips and ends with a convenient safety checklist. There is also a similarly structured chapter on the general household environment, including the back yard.

Important injury and injury prevention information is also arranged in handy charts at the back of the book, so the reader can easily determine a potential injury, what age child is at greater risk for that injury, and what to do as a remedy.

The book (208 pages; $45 hardcover; $15 paperback) is really a reference tool, intended to be consulted over a period of years, as children grow to school age.

Books are available in bookstores and from The Johns Hopkins University Press

A 20% discount coupon that can be used when buying books from the press is available on Dotty’s web site: www.DragoExpertServices.com.

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3. ASTM’s Katherine Morgan Gets Promoted
ASTM F15 committee manager Katherine Morgan is being promoted to that organization’s vice president of technical committee operation. She is moving into a slot previously held by Ken Pearson, who has become the group’s senior vice president. Kathy has been with ASTM since 1984, holding various positions, most recently taking on her current duties in 2001. She holds a chemical engineering B.S. from Lafayette College and an M.B.A. from Widener University.

ASTM F15 committee was formed in 1973 as CPSC was being established. A large portion of the products under CPSC’s jurisdiction also are covered by F15, which has about 800 members, 46 technical subcommittee and 75 standards covering consumer products ranging from toys to candles to pools. CPSC staffers participate in committee deliberations but are not voting members.

Parts of the above article were reprinted with the permission of “Product Safety Letter” productsafety@cox.net.

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4. ANSI and TIA Team to Bolster Toy Safety
The U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, announced plans to implement new compliance systems to bolster the safety of toys sold in the United States.

On August 28, the TIA Board of Directors approved a three-point program to reinforce the toy safety system, including:

  • the concept of a federal requirement to make safety testing and inspection mandatory…today it is not mandated.
  • the development and standardization of compliance procedures that can be used industry wide….today these activities are defined by individual manufacturers and retailers.
  • the harmonization of current practices used to evaluate the competence of the conformity assessment bodies that are evaluating compliance to requirements….these harmonized practices are also intended for use industry-wide.

TIA has invited the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to work with them to develop solutions that meet these goals. On August 31, Lane Hallenback, vice president of accreditation services at ANSI, led the first meeting of a new TIA working group to spearhead the development and implementation of this three-point program.

“The plans that we’ve set in motion to strengthen conformity assessment systems will help to keep unsafe toys out of the hands of our children” explained Hallenback following last week’s meeting. “From producer to government regulator to retailer to parent – all stakeholders have a role to play.”

The solutions that are developed for the toy industry may be a stepping stone for the solutions that are needed in other consumer-focused industries.

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5. Joe Mohorovic Joins Intertek
Intertek announced that Joseph P. Mohorovic has joined the Intertek Team as Vice President of Intertek Consumer Goods North America.

Mr. Mohorovic brings aboard extensive knowledge and insight gained from five years serving as Director of International Programs for the CPSC. He negotiated twelve Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with major trading partners such as China, Japan, Mexico, India, Korea and the European Union. These MOUs provide the basis for improved compliance with U.S. safety standards, including both mandatory and relevant consensus voluntary standards.

In 2006, he was unanimously voted Chairman of the International Consumer Product Safety Caucus (ICPSC) by his international counterparts. Established in November 2004, the ICPSC is the sole government-only forum where regulators may negotiate product safety issues of common concern including standards harmonization, market surveillance, and emerging hazards. Membership currently includes representatives of over thirty countries and regions including Canada, the EU, Mexico, Japan, China and Australia.

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6. Donald Moffett Leaves SGS
Don’s last day at SGS was July 11. He will be taking on a Director of QA position with Kolcraft in Chicago.

He hopes to remain involved in ICPHSO, although he will have to get a feel for how his new job will change his perspective.

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NEWS OF INTEREST top

  1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – Industry Guidance
  2. COPOLCO Working Group on Consumer Product Safety
  3. Complete Single-Source Capabilities Launch Stericycle as Industry Leader
  4. ANSI President Give Senate Testimony on Toy Safety
  5. CPSC and AQSIQ Continue Cooperation
  6. EU to Use Toy Recalls to Evaluate Product Safety System
  7. Illinois Asks That Magnets be Banned Hazards in Toys
  8. California Assembly Passes Bill to Ban Phthalates in Toys and Childcare Products
  9. EU Still on Pace for 1,200+ RAPEX Reports in 2007

1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – Industry Guidance

Check out CPSC’s website for valuable industry information with links to documents regarding Recall programs, Handbooks on Regulated Products and Recalls, Regulatory Summaries in Plain Language, Testing Laboratories & Manuals, Conference Proceedings, Thrift Store Guidance and more.

Handbooks

  • Recall Handbook
    A Guide for Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors and Retailers on Reporting Under Sections 15 and 37 of the Consumer Product Safety Act and Section 102 of the Child Safety Protection Act and Preparing for, Initiating Including CPSC Fast Track Product Recall Program. (Revised May 1999)
  • Regulated Products Handbook (pdf)
    A guide for manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers on procedures relating to the enforcement of standards and regulations issued under Acts administered by the Commission.

Recall Information

Regulatory Summaries in Plain Language

Reports and Conference Proceedings

Special Units

  • Safe On-Line Shopping
    CPSC established an Internet surveillance project - Operation Safe On-Line Shopping (Operation SOS). The goal of this project is to find potentially hazardous, recalled, illegal or defective consumer products being sold on the World Wide Web.
  • Special Investigations Unit
    CPSC established a Special Investigations Unit (SIU). This major new initiative is aimed at discovering and developing leads about hazardous products from a wide range of sources. The SIU will enhance CPSC's current compliance and recall activities.

Test Manuals

Testing Laboratories

Other Testing/Reviewing

Thrift & Resale Store Guidance

Other Guidance

All this information can be obtained at the CPSC website, www.cpsc.gov.

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2. COPOLCO Working Group on Consumer Product Safety

The Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO) of the International Standards Organization (ISO) was established to ensure that the concerns of consumers are expressed and heard in the development of ISO standards. The role of standardization in improving the safety of consumer products has been an ongoing priority for COPOLCO. COPOLCO has played a major role in the development of ISO/IEC Guides 50, 51 and 71, which provide guidance on safety requirements for consumer products and specific requirements for children and seniors. Moreover, COPOLCO has established a Working Group on Consumer Product Safety: to raise awareness about consumer product safety issues among standards developers and manufacturers; to establish a mechanism to manage product safety issues in a proactive and horizontal manner; to establish a forum to address gaps in safety standards for consumer products; and to improve the use and understanding of Guides 50, 51 and 71 among product designers, manufacturers and standard developers.

Currently, the Working Group has been tasked by COPOLCO to investigate a number of issues that impact or potentially could impact on the health and safety of consumers globally. The purpose of this work is to identify the crux of the problems, and the role for ISO standards in resolving them. Over the next year, the Working Group will be:

  • Making available to those using or revising standard rationales that explain why certain safety levels or test procedures were chosen and included in a consumer product standard;
  • Determining the need to revise ISO/IEC Guide 51 and the changes to be made; Investigating the role of standards in identifying and harmonizing the data elements required for product-related injury databases;
  • Investigating the ability of domestic water treatment devices in decontaminating drinking water;
  • Examining the development of standards for nanotechnology, the impact on consumers and the involvement of public representatives in the development process; and
  • Assessing the adequacy of instructions for assembly, maintenance and use for consumer products.

Dr. Elizabeth Nielsen
Consumer Representative
knielsen@magma.ca

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3. Complete Single-Source Capabilities Launch Stericycle as Industry Leader

By providing single-source solutions, Stericycle achieves control and cost efficiencies for its clients, resulting in accurate regulatory compliance and reporting standards that are among the highest in the industry. Stericycle realizes that there is clearly a difference between experience and expertise. Stericycle delivers both.

Stericycle prides itself on a Customer First approach, serving customers across the globe. Stericycle's Client Managers support their customers on a personal level and offer consulting services for pre-event planning and preparation.

Stericycle's 220,000-square-foot facility houses the Document Center, where Stericycle can rapidly cut hundreds of thousands of reimbursement checks in a single day.

Stericycle's Call Center seats over 150 skilled professionals who effectively manage physician, patient and consumer communications. With 4,000 lines, Stericycle can accommodate inbound and outbound call campaigns including Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions that can quickly determine the caller's need or conduct timely notification.

Stericycle's Product Processing Centers are equipped to handle any event, including successful management of the largest pharmaceutical recall in U.S. history.

Stericycle has facilities in Indianapolis, Ind., Conyers, Ga. and Boynton Beach, Fla. Stericycle corporately serves over 350,000 clients worldwide. Leading the industry in recall, return, communication and retrieval services, Stericycle is the recognized industry expert in complete reverse logistics solutions.

For more information on Stericycle and the products and services it provides, visit www.stericycle.com or contact Jamie Witt at 317-636-7702.

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4. ANSI President Give Senate Testimony on Toy Safety

Joe Bhatia, president and CEO of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), testified today on the issue of toy safety at a special hearing of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

The hearing, Enhancing the Safety of our Toys: Lead Paint, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Toy Safety Standards, considered private and public sector efforts to strengthen toy safety amid a wave of high-profile toy recalls that have swept the industry in recent months.

Highlighting new and ongoing initiatives within the institute to develop standards-based solutions that will build consumer confidence, Mr. Bhatia underscored ANSI’s commitment to working with both government and industry to strengthen current safety standards and conformity assessment systems.

“Government and Industry need to work together if we are to restore consumer confidence in imported goods,” said Mr. Bhatia. “ANSI stands ready to help coordinate this partnership.”

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5. CPSC and AQSIQ Continue Cooperation

A September 11 agreement between CPSC and its Chinese counterpart will focus on five broad strategies that target improved safety of Chinese imports. The efforts will apply to four product areas – toys, fireworks, lighters and electrical products – identified by CPSC and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in 2006 as meriting priority attention. As well, AQSIQ has committed to targeting the elimination of violative lead paint in toys destined for the U.S. The five efforts are:

  • AQSIQ will increase its inspections of products slated for export to the U.S., with an eye to ensuring they meet U.S. standards and regulations.
  • AQSIQ will work towards expanding the knowledge and understanding of U.S. laws, standards and regulations by Chinese companies and regulators.
  • The two agencies will hold monthly discussions on issues such as recalls and hazard trends.
  • AQSIQ will increase efforts to help CPSC trace problem products to Chinese firms.

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6. EU to Use Toy Recalls to Evaluate Product Safety System

The EU Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General (DG-Sanco) September 5 said it would use the recent high-profile toy recalls to assess the EU’s product safety system. About the effort, Consumer Affairs Commission Meglena Kuneva said, “I believe the current framework of rules is up to the job. But I am determined that there will be no complacency…..I want to use this two-month period to check all links in the chain. We must avoid knee-jerk reactions, but I want to be doubly sure that every single thing necessary is being done.” The process actually began August 27 with meetings between the European Commission and Mattel, whose recalled toys have received the most attention. Other steps include:

  • September 12: Kuneva met with the EU Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee to discuss her recent trip to China, the Mattel recalls, the New Approach directives and other issues.
  • Week of September 10: Kuneva met with the Toy Industries of Europe.
  • September-October: DG-Sanco analyzed the EU’s regulatory framework, market surveillance system, legal and technical options for accelerated responses, and other issues.
  • End of September: The National Surveillance Authorities provided an assessment of Mattel’s recalls.
  • Beginning of October: European Commission representatives met with national agencies to discuss the findings of the National Surveillance Authorities with a goal of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the member states’ surveillance systems.
  • October 5: Kuneva visited the United States with a priority of enhancing cooperation of product safety issues like information exchanges, standardization, and enforcement.
  • End of October: Chinese authorities described enforcement actions related to the RAPEX-China Application, an information-sharing effort begun in October (PSL, 10/9/06, p.3).
  • October 29 to November 4: DG-Sanco presented the findings of the effort with an eye towards preparing for an EU-China summit scheduled for November 28.

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7. Illinois Asks That Magnets be Banned Hazards in Toys

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on CPSC to declare magnets to be banned hazardous products when used in toys. The request followed a letter to CPSC, accompanying a sample of three toys with magnets, seeking an agency opinion of their risks. Madigan asked that if CPSC will not begin a rulemaking for a ban, that it move to ensure consistent labeling. She noted that the toys she sent look similar to Magnetix sets, which in April saw an expansion of a 2006 recall. She pointed out that CPSC deemed Magnetix sets safe if they carry a warning label related to ingestion, but the three other sets have no such labels. Magnets in toys have become an emerging hazard in recent years, including CPSC declaring them to be one of the top five “hidden hazards” in homes.

Illinois is a very active product safety state, including a 2005 recall effectiveness law that requires a retailer to post recall notices in prominent spots and to remove items from shelves within three days.

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8. California Assembly Passes Bill to Ban Phthalates in Toys and Childcare Products

The California Assembly has passed a bill to ban certain phthalates in toys and childcare products. If passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, the law will take effect on January 1, 2009.

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9. EU Still on Pace for 1,200+ RAPEX Reports in 2007

The EU continued its pace toward a record 1,200+ RAPEX reports in 2007 by processing 127 notifications.

In May, the top notifying national was Finland (13 reports), followed by the U.K. (12), Greece (11), Netherlands and France (10 each), Spain (9), Bulgaria and Germany (8 each), Slovakia (7), Estonia (6), Latvia (5), and Italy (4). Twelve national made twelve or fewer reports each.

The top product type under report was toys (35), followed by electrical appliances (19), motor vehicles (16), cosmetics (10), and clothing and lighting equipment (8 each). Fifteen product types saw three or fewer reports each in May. Meanwhile, the top type of risk was general injuries (37), followed by electric shock (26), choking (23), chemical (22), fire (15), burns (8) and suffocation (6). Eight other risks saw three or fewer incidents each.

China was the source of a lion’s share of the problematic products (60), followed by unknown (11), Germany (6), Italy (5) and the U.K. (4). Twenty nations each were responsible for three or fewer products; the U.S. was responsible for two. Concern about the safety of Chinese products is a growing concern in both Europe and the U.S.

RAPEX (rapid exchange) is the system by which EU countries alert each other to product safety actions; it also is referred to as the Rapid Alert System. It has risen significantly in recent years, jumping from 67 reports in 2003 to 924 notifications in 2006. Download the latest report from ec.europa.eu/consumers/cons_safe/prod_safe/gpsd/stats01-04-2007.pdf.

Parts of the above four articles are reprinted with the permission of “Product Safety Letter” productsafety@cox.net.

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