Retailers Gather to Talk Product Safety Top Issues
- By [ Susan Kirsch , Luisa Lobo ]
INDUSTRY EXPERT PRESENTATIONSMarietje Hauprich-Baggerman, Senior Regulatory Specialist, UL Solutions, kicked the morning off with a session on the recent developments in state and federal regulations, prohibitions, and restrictions on PFAS in products and what to expect for the upcoming year.
- Notices of violation and enforcement of recent chemicals additions to Proposition 65, including PFAS, are on the rise and expected to continue to grow in 2023.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) will publish its final Long-Chain PFAS Reporting Final Rule as early as sometime March 2023
- The EPA’s proposed rule designating legacy chemistries PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) is expected to be published in August 2023. If finalized, there will likely be significant reporting obligations for any ongoing releases of this subset of PFAS as well as enforcement and litigation related to site cleanup.
- CPSC’s priorities for 2023 include safe infant sleep, including rules on nursing pillows, bassinets, and infant rockers; addressing CO poisoning risks (e.g., safety standards for portable generators, and CO sensors on furnaces/boilers); and conducting vigorous research.
- Key regulatory activities include finalizing rules for button cell batteries and a rule interpreting section 6(b) of the CPSA (public disclosure requirements).
- Strengthening import monitoring (i.e., e-filing pilot) and aggressive enforcement will be at the forefront of CPSC activity this year.
- Research priorities for the Commission include infant sleep products, organohalogen flame retardants, gas stoves, and DEI initiatives examining disparate safety impacts on vulnerable communities and other demographics, including gender.
OPEN PEER BENCHMARKING DISCUSSION
Following presentations, RILA members engaged in peer-to-peer benchmarking sessions to discuss top of mind issues with their peers. Topics for member discussion included:
- Chemicals Management
- Product Safety & Sustainability Nexus
- New/Emerging Laws & Regulations
- Compliance Team Structure/Training
- Managing Online Reviews
CPSC CHAIR ALEXANDER HOEHN-SARIC KEYNOTE ADDRESSAs a part of the much-anticipated CPSC day at ICPHSO, Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric delivered a keynote address looking back at his first year as chair, as well as highlighting some key areas which the commission will focus on in the upcoming year. Hoehn-Saric touched on the commission’s compliance enforcement efforts, their effort to clear the backlog of rulemakings, and dispelling the omnipresent rumors that the commission is seeking to ban gas stoves. Looking forward, the Chair highlighted three key areas in which the agency will be focusing on for 2023 – revisiting and finalizing a rule interpreting CPSA Section 6(b); continuing to focus safety efforts on underserved communities; and using technology to modernize the CPSC.
For more insights and highlights from Chair Hoehn-Saric’s Keynote address, please see Crowell & Moring’s Retail Consumer Products Law Observer Blog Post.
RETAIL RELATED ICPHSO PRESENTATION HIGHLIGHTSA record number of RILA members and strategic partners contributed to the ICPHSO conference content and planning, serving on the board of directors; moderating discussions; and serving on panels. Below are those who were featured:
- ICPHSO Board of Directors: David Kosnoff, Walmart (Vice President); Kim Mason, Five Below (Treasurer); and board members: Erin Bradley, Costco; Vladimir Brajkovic, IKEA of Sweden; Danni Cugini, Harbor Freight Tools; and Rebeca Sharpe, Best Buy.
- I Spy with My Little Eye – Danni Cugini, Senior Manager, Product Compliance, Harbor Freight Tools participated in a diverse stakeholder panel, discussing different perspectives on use/misuse of various products.
- Managing Safety and Quality in Fast-Paced Environments – Evan Friedler, Senior Counsel, products and Retail, Wayfair spoke on a panel discussion on leading practices for safety and quality teams.
- Green Claims: Doing it Right (to Address Risks of Greenwashing) – Ben Kornblet, Head of Product Quality and Regulatory Compliance, Crate and Barrel Holdings, led a breakout discussion on leading practices for making “green” claims.
- Beyond the Warnings: Educating and Communicating with the Caregiver of Infant Hazards – Tracey Kelly, Safer Life at Home Program Lead, IKEA participated in a panel exploring the novel approaches to educating caregivers about infant product hazards.
- Keeping Consumers Safe in a Sustainable World: Scoping of Key Issues - Tracey Kelly, Safer Life at Home Program Lead, IKEA engaged in a joint OECD-ICPHSO stakeholder feedback session focused on ensuring consumer product safety by design in the green and digital transition.
- Trade Policies Impacting Product Quality – Gaby Morris, Director, Quality Assurance and Responsible Sourcing, At Home, participated in a panel discussing the supply chain and evolving trade policies, specifically the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
- Consumer/Commercial Robots & USB Type-C Safety – Ibrahim Jilani, Global Director of Consumer Technology from UL Solutions, Consumer Product Committee Strategic Sponsor, moderated a discussion on the safety of consumer robots and how to substantially reduce risk and increase public safety around these emerging technologies.
- Laser and LED Safety for Consumer Products – Winn Henderson, Principal Engineer – Optical Radiation, from UL Solutions, Consumer Product Committee Strategic Sponsor, participated in a panel discussion on the safety of emerging technologies, specifically lasers and LEDs.
- Lithium-ion Battery Supply Chain: Product Safety Concerns and Quality Battery Procurement – Ken Boyce, Senior Director, from UL Solutions, Consumer Products Committee Strategic Sponsor, participated in an interactive breakout session addressing lithium-ion battery supply shortages and the quality and safety issues caused by the shortages.
For more information on consumer product-related topics and RILA’s Consumer Product Committee, please contact Susan Kirsch, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Luisa Lobo, Manager, Legal & Regulatory Affairs.
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