Product regulations in Alabama cover chemicals, heavy metals, flammability, labeling requirements, and more. In this guide, we introduce you to compliance requirements applicable to cosmetics, food, furniture, mattresses, e-cigarettes, and more.
Important: This article only serves as an introduction to safety requirements, substance restrictions, labeling, certification, and other compliance requirements in Alabama. It is not a complete guide and is not kept up to date. Further, keep in mind that national product regulations (e.g. CPSIA) apply in all states.
Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics
The Code of Alabama section 20 provides a general provision on the adulteration and misbranding of food, drug, and cosmetic products.
The code covers food, drug, and cosmetic products as defined below.
The definition includes articles of food, drink, confectionery, or condiment intended for use by humans or domestic animals. Here are some examples of covered products:
- Canned foods
This includes United States pharmacopeia recognized medicines that are intended for use of cure, mitigation, or prevention of disease. Here are some examples of covered products:
This includes articles that are intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, or altering the appearance. Here are some examples of covered products:
- Fingernail polishes
The code sets out the general requirements for foods, drugs, and cosmetics as below:
a. No person should sell or manufacture any article of foods, drugs, and cosmetics that is adulterated or misbranded (e.g. false product information)
b. The code requires that food, drugs, and cosmetic products should bear a legible and permanent label on the product or its packaging
c. The standards of purity and quality of cosmetics should comply with the State Board of Agriculture and Industries department
d. The sale of food products requires a food safety permit from the Alabama Department of Public Health
Food, drug, and cosmetic products should include a permanent and legible label on the product or its packaging. The label should include information such as:
- Product information
- Manufacturer’s contact information
- Best before dates (if applicable)
- Warning statement (if applicable)
The Fire Code of Alabama sets out flame spread requirements for furniture, mattresses, and decorative materials used in new or existing buildings.
The code covers furniture, furnishings, and decorative materials used in new or existing buildings. Here are some examples of covered products:
- Interior walls
- Interior finish
The code provides compliance requirements for different materials or products as listed below:
a. Interior finish should be tested in accordance with ASTM E-84 standard
b. Interior wall or ceiling finishes should be tested in accordance with NFPA 286 standard
c. The fire-retardant coating’s flame spread index should comply with NFPA 703 standard
d. In general, foam plastic materials should not be used as interior wall and ceiling finish
e. Upholstered furniture should be tested in accordance with NFPA 261, ASTM E1537, or California Technical Bulletin 133 standards
f. The components of upholstered furniture should be tested in accordance with NFPA 260 standard
g. Mattresses should be tested in accordance with ASTM E1590 or California Technical Bulletin 129 standards
h. Upholstered furniture and mattresses should carry an adequate label on the products
The code requires that upholstered furniture and mattresses should carry a permanently affixed label on the products, which should include the following information:
- Product SKU
- Manufacturers contact
- Compliance statements
- Material contents
- Warning statement (if applicable)
Manufacturers should arrange lab testing to ensure that their products comply with the applicable fire safety standards (e.g. ASTM E1537 for upholstered furniture). Reputable testing companies such as SGS and Intertek offer these services.
The Alabama Code sections 28, 40, and 13A set out the requirements for the sale of e-cigarettes. It covers topics such as the definition of e-cigarette, liquid nicotine containers’ packaging, age restriction, and retail license.
The Alabama Code defines an e-cigarette as an electronic device that uses a battery and heating element with an e-liquid or tobacco to produce a vapor that delivers nicotine.
Here are some examples of covered products:
- Electronic cigars
- Electronic vapes
- Electronic pipes
The code sets out requirements for e-cigarettes, including the following:
a. Liquid nicotine containers of e-cigarettes should be sold in child-resistant packaging
b. The sale of e-cigarette is prohibited to persons under the age of 21
c. Retail businesses of e-cigarettes should not be located within 1,000 feet of a school, church, public library, or other youth-centered facilities
d. Retailers should obtain a retail license or permit from the board for each location of distribution
e. Retailers of e-cigarette should display the following signs on the point of sale:
“THE USE OF SOME VAPING DEVICES MAY INCREASE YOUR RISK OF EXPOSURE TO POTENTIALLY TOXIC LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS SUCH AS LEAD, CHROMIUM, AND NICKEL.”
“WARNING: PRODUCTS OFFERED FOR SALE IN THIS STORE CONTAIN NICOTINE UNLESS OTHERWISE MARKED. NICOTINE IS A HIGHLY ADDICTIVE CHEMICAL WHICH CAN HARM BRAIN DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS AND WHICH POSES SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS TO PREGNANT WOMEN AND THEIR BABIES.”
Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act
The Code of Alabama Title 13A sets out the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act, which provides requirements for the sale of most adult products in Alabama.
The act covers the sale of most adult products. Here are some covered product examples:
- Adult books
- Adult toys
- Adult videos
The act sets out the requirements for adult businesses, including:
a. The act prohibits the sale of any obscene material
b. Adult products or devices should not contain any harmful materials that cause health issues to the users
c. It’s unlawful to set up an adult store within 1,000 feet of a church, public park, school, or other youth-centered locations
d. It’s unlawful for any business to show human genital pictures in public areas such as the window at the shop
e. Any adult business should obtain applicable licenses from the county or municipality where the business located
Product Liability Action
The code of Alabama Title 6 Article 28 sets out the product liability actions against damages caused by defective products, such as claims and product recalls.
The Product Liability Action requirements apply to most consumer goods. Here are some examples:
The code defines a defective product as a product that causes personal injury, death, or property damage due to reasons such as the following:
- Defective design
- Misleading labeling
- Lack of warnings
The requirements include the following:
a. Manufacturers are responsible for any damages caused by defective products
b. Manufacturers of the defective products should take remedy actions including product recalls or repair
c. Product liability actions must be commenced within one year of the injury, death, or property damage occurs
Manufacturers are responsible to provide sufficient information on the product label, in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Therefore, information such as the following should be added to the product label and/or manual:
Manufacturers are responsible for product safety before selling to the consumer. As such, they should appoint a lab testing company to conduct testings according to the applicable regulations and standards.
|Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics||Link|
|Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act||Link|
|Product Liability Law||Link|