Product Safety and Quality Assurance
As a top industry distributor of branded and printed products, BIG is committed to protecting our client’s brand and reputation as if it were our own. Ultimately, our goal is to protecting consumers –the end users —from potential harm caused by our products. Given the complexity of the ever changing product safety standards and regulations, BIG has committed to a dedicated, on- staff team that evaluates our products to ensure compliance and product safety. Product safety and quality assurance is an important part of our company culture at BIG, with all account managers and sales executives participating in on-going training sessions.
BIG requires that all products supplied to us meet or exceed expectations for quality and product safety. All products must be designed to comply with all governmental, statutory, and voluntary standards and regulations, including national, regional and state regulations. For any custom products that BIG develops, it is expected that all compliance and safety rules are detailed, verified, tested and approved by the supplier. BIG requires that all suppliers utilize design and manufacturing processes to produce compliant products. BIG requires that random samples of raw materials and/or early production pieces are available upon request and are sent to independent labs for chemical and/or physical analysis. Any reports as part of this process will be made readily available to BIG upon request.
Lead in Ink, Paint and Surface Coatings Restrictions
In August of 2008, the US Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Among the provisions of the CPSIA was a change in the acceptable levels of lead in paint and surface coatings of all consumer products. The Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (LPPA) further reduces acceptable levels of total lead content for inks and surface coatings to 40 ppm or less. Accordingly, BIG requires that all products meet the less than 40 ppm lead content regulation. All BIG suppliers must have current, third-party testing documentation indicating compliance with this requirement for imprint inks used on items supplied to BIG, to be provided upon request. Suppliers must maintain all required permits and/or approvals from the appropriate US Federal agencies.
Safety and Compliance for Children’s Products and Toys
BIG suppliers are required to provide passing testing reports for any item that is defined as a children’s product or toy by the CPSC. This includes, but is not limited to, consumer products designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger, any item that is primary marketed or distributed to children under 12, and any item that has intrinsic play value or is attractive to a child under the age of 12 because of the imprint, decoration or features. Note that BIG requires a passing testing report for all items that will be distributed to children, even if it can be considered a general use item. All children’s products and toys require current (less than 12 months old) passing testing report for the item and decoration. BIG will not authorize production of children’s products and toys without proper testing and documentation on file. Children’s products must contain correct labeling on product and packaging including, but not limited to, age grading, safety warning if necessary, and tracking number as required by law. Additionally, any items intended for children must be free of PVC and phthalates. Inks used to imprint on children’s products must conform to total lead content regulations established by the CPSC for children’s items. In addition to the lead in ink requirement, all children’s products and toys must also comply with limits set by CPSC for total lead and heavy metal content in substrate. BIG, in consultation with a third-party testing lab, will provide testing protocol for each project, fully outlining all testing requirements.
California Proposition 65
In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative became the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name of Proposition 65. BIG mandates that all products have been fully tested and do not contain chemicals at concentrations that would require a Proposition 65 warning label. If there are known chemicals in an item that would require a Proposition 65 warning label, suppliers must alert BIG immediately.
BIG mandates that our suppliers have completed or are working towards completion of product safety and quality assurance training from one of the following organizations:
- Quality Certification Alliance (QCA)
- Must be either currently accredited or are actively working towards accreditation
- PPAI – Product Safety Aware:
- Must have completed required courses for designation