The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) restricts hazardous substances and products that may contain hazardous substances. In this guide, we list various categories of products that fall under the scope of the FHSA, such as art materials, adhesives, and bicycles.
Product List Creation Methodology
This list is based on the Regulations, Mandatory Standards and Bans list published on the official CPSC website. We only list products covered by the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA).
General Certificate of Conformity (GCC)
Importers or manufacturers of non-children’s products covered by the FHSA for which consumer product safety rules apply have to issue a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC). The GCC is a self-issue document certifying that a product complies with applicable safety standards, and it must include data such as:
- Product name and description
- List of applicable CPSC safety rules and standards
- Company information
- Name of the person holding the test report
- Date and place of production
- Date and place of product testing
- Third-party testing company information
Part 1512 of the FHSA sets safety requirements for bicycles that are manufactured, imported, sold, and distributed in the United States.
The FHSA covers various types of bicycles, including:
a. Human-powered bicycles
b. Two- or three-wheeled vehicles with an electric motor of less than 750 Watt
c. Sidewalk bicycles – provided that the saddle has a height of a maximum of 25 inches
Part 1512 covers safety requirements for bicycle components such as:
- Braking system
- Steering system
- Drive chain
- Protective guards
- Wheel hubs
- Front fork
- Fork and frame assembly
16 CFR Part 1512.18 details the test procedure that importers and manufacturers must follow. We list several of those below:
- Footbrake force and performance test
- Fork and frame test
- Handlebar stem test
- Pedal slip test
- Protective cap and end-mounted devices test
- Reflector mount and alignment test
- Sharp edge test
Labeling and user instructions requirements
Part 1512.19 covers labeling and user instruction requirements for bicycles. Importers and manufacturers of bicycles should provide both a traceability label and an instruction manual. The traceability label should:
- Be permanently affixed
- State information about the manufacturer
- Specify where and when the bicycle was manufactured
The instruction manual should either be attached to the bicycle frame or be included with its packaging. The manual should include information such as:
a. How to assemble the bicycle (if assemblage is needed)
b. Safety instructions describing how gears and brakes work
c. Instructions on maintenance of a bicycle’s brakes, control cables, and more
d. Warnings related to limited visibility at night or wet streets, and so on
According to Part 1500.14 of the FHSA, the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA) provides labeling requirements for art materials.
The LHAMA defines “art material” as “any substance marketed or represented by the producer or repackager as suitable for use in any phase of the creation of any work of visual or graphic art of any medium”.
Also, the LHAMA applies to individual users of any age.
The LHAMA, as stated in Part 1500.14, requires compliance with ASTM D-4236 – Standard Practice for Labeling Art Materials for Chronic Health Hazards.
According to the standard, the producer or repackager should submit art material product formulations for review to a toxicologist, who in turn is required to keep said formulations confidential. If the toxicologist deems any component of the submitted art materials to contain substances that might have chronic adverse health effects, the producer or repackager should adopt precautionary labeling.
Examples of chronic hazard warning statements include:
- MAY BE HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED
- MAY CAUSE STERILITY
- MAY PRODUCE ALLERGIC REACTION BY INGESTION/INHALATION/SKIN CONTACT
The label should also include a Statement of Conformance (e.g. “Conforms to ASTM Practice D-4236”).
The producer or repackager may also be required to provide precautionary statements such as:
- Keep out of reach of children
- Wash hands immediately after use
- Store in a well-ventilated area
You can find more examples in the act.
The FHSA covers labeling requirements for different types of adhesives, including:
- Adhesives that contain hazardous substances
- Adhesives that are considered extremely flammable
Here are some examples of adhesives covered by the FHSA:
- Adhesives containing methyl alcohol
- Adhesives with a cyanoacrylate base
- Adhesives with a nitrocellulose base containing methyl alcohol
- Extremely flammable contact adhesives
- Floor covering adhesives
As already mentioned, the act requires the labeling of products that are deemed to be hazardous. Here we list a few of those requirements concerning adhesives:
a. Adhesives containing more than 4% of methyl alcohol should bear a label with the words “danger”, “poison”, and “vapor harmful”
b. Adhesives with a cyanoacrylate base in packages might be required to bear the words “danger” and “SKIN AND EYE IRRITANT” on the main panel of the container
c. Adhesives with a nitrocellulose base containing methyl alcohol should bear the label statement “cannot be made nonpoisonous” if the total amount of methyl alcohol in the product exceeds 15% by weight
d. Extremely flammable contact adhesives are required to bear warning statements such as “vapors may cause flash fire” and “keep away from heat, sparks, and open flame”
e. Floor covering adhesives are required to bear a warning label if the viscosity of the adhesive is greater than 100 Saybolt universal seconds at 100 °F.
Candles with Metal-Cored Wicks (Lead)
The FHSA has specifically banned candles made with metal-cored wicks, as covered in Part 1500.17 unless the lead content in the metal core does not exceed 0.06% (by weight).
As said, the lead content in the metal core should not exceed 0.06% by weight.
Additionally, each outer container or wrapper in which candles are shipped or distributed is required to bear the following statement on their labels:
“Conforms to 16 CFR 1500.17(a)(13).”
Asbestos-Containing Garments for General Use
The FHSA has banned general-use garments containing asbestos, as covered in Part 1500.17(a)(7). The only exception to that arises when:
a. General-use garments containing asbestos fibers can genuinely be used as a form of personal protection against thermal injuries,
b. The garments have been constructed in such a way that the asbestos fibers do not become airborne when the garment is in use
Although the FHSA generally requires hazardous products to bear cautionary labels, general-use garments containing asbestos are banned because the CPSC has determined that it is too hazardous and that even the required cautionary labeling is not adequate to protect the public. However, there are some exceptions, as explained above.
You can find more information on this page.
Part 1500.83(a)(11) of the FHSA sets labeling requirements for cleaning products containing benzene, toluene, xylene, and petroleum distillates, as the CPSC has determined that these substances present special hazards.
The FHSA covers cleaning products that contain hazardous substances such as:
- Petroleum distillates
Below we list the requirements for different substances.
If products contain 5% or more benzene by weight, and as such may cause blood dyscrasias via inhalation of vapors, those products have to be labeled with the following:
- The signal word “danger”
- The statement of hazard “Vapor harmful”
- The word “poison”
- The skull and crossbones symbol
Products containing 10% or more benzene by weight have to bear labels containing the above information, with the additional items:
- Statement of hazard “Harmful or fatal if swallowed”
- Statement “Call physician immediately”
Toluene, xylene, petroleum distillates
Inhalation of products containing 10% or more of toluene, xylene, or petroleum distillates may cause:
- Chemical pneumonitis
- Pulmonary edema
- Systemic injury
As such, these products are required to carry labels that state the following:
- Signal word “Danger”
- Hazard statement “Harmful or fatal if swallowed”
- Statement “Call physician immediately”
- Hazard statement “Vapor harmful”
Although the CPSIA covers children’s products, there are requirements for some categories of children’s products that are listed under FHSA. In turn, the CPSIA refers to the relevant FHSA sections.
Here we list some examples of children’s products that the FHSA covers:
- Bunk beds
- Electrically-operated toys and children’s article
- Infant cushions
Below we list some of the requirements for children’s products under FHSA. Note that, for children’s products, a GCC is not required. Instead, importers and manufacturers should draft a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC).
Requirements for bunk beds
According to Part 1513.3, bunk beds must have two guardrails, one on either side of the bed. This is necessary for beds that have the underside of their foundations more than 30 inches (760 mm) off the floor. Also, guardrails should be designed in such a way that they cannot easily be removed.
One guardrail should span the length between each of the bed’s end structures, and the other guardrail can terminate before reaching the bed’s end structure, so long as the gap between the end of the guardrail and the bed’s end structure does not exceed 15 inches (380 mm).
Requirements for pacifiers
Part 1511.6 states that pacifiers should not be distributed or sold with any of the following items:
According to Part 1511.7, pacifiers should bear the following statement on their label: “Warning – Do Not Tie Pacifier Around Child’s Neck as it Presents a Strangulation Danger.”
Electrically-operated toys and children’s article
16 CFR 1505 is titled “Requirements for electrically operated toys or other electrically operated articles intended for use by children”.
Electrically operated toy products, their instruction sheets, and their packaging should be labeled prominently and conspicuously per the requirements of the FHSA. For example, the packaging for electronic toys should bear the following pieces of information:
a. Date (month and year) of manufacture
b. The product’s electrical rating
c. Any precautionary statements required
Part 1505.3(e) specifies that electrically operated toys intended for use by children should bear the general statement: “CAUTION – ELECTRIC TOY”.
Requirements for infant cushions
According to 16 CFR 1500.18, infant cushions are required to have the following characteristics:
a. Have a flexible fabric covering
b. Being loosely filled with granular material (including but not limited to polystyrene beads or pellets)
c. Being easily flattened
d. Being capable of conforming to an infant’s face or body
The FHSA covers labeling requirements for cigarette lighters that contain substances such as:
- Petroleum distillate
The FHSA covers some categories of lighters, including:
- Cigarette lighters containing butane
- Cigarette lighters containing petroleum distillate
- Isobutane in cigarette lighters containing isobutane
The FHSA requires that cigarette lighters containing any of the above-mentioned substances should bear a label conspicuously stating items such as:
a. Name and place of the manufacturer, packer, distributor, or seller
b. The signal word “DANGER”
c. Hazard statements such as “Flammable”
d. The statement “Keep out of the reach of children”
Lighters containing butane and/or isobutane fuel are exempt from labeling requirements if:
a. They don’t contain more than 12 grams of fuel when being sold
b. The fuel reservoir is designed to withstand a pressure of >1.5 times the maximum pressure developed in the container at 120°F
Lighters containing petroleum distillate fuel are exempt from labeling requirements if:
a. They don’t contain more than 10 cm3 of fuel when being sold
b. The fuel is contained inside a sealed compartment that can’t be opened without deliberately removing the lighter’s flush-set, screw-type refill plug
Fireworks are explosive and as such, dangerous. The CPSC issues and enforces mandatory safety regulations under the FHSA for fireworks devices. Below, we explain the labeling requirements for these products.
The FHSA covers many types of fireworks, which include but are not limited to:
- California candles
- Roman candles
- Party poppers
The FHSA also covers noise-making fireworks, such as:
- Cherry bombs
- M-80 salutes
- Silver salutes
- Large firecrackers
- Aerial bombs
16 CFR 1500.14(b)(7) lists numerous ways to label firework devices, as these products present special hazards.
One such example is a California candle, which is required to bear the following information on its label:
- Warning (or Caution) Emits Showers of Sparks
- Use only under adult supervision
- For outdoor use only
- Hold in hand at bottom of tube
- Point away from body so that neither end points toward body
Also, according to 16 CFR 1500.17(a)(3), aerial fireworks devices are required to have a limit of 130 mg (2 grains) of pyrotechnic composition intended to make a sound. Under the FHSA, the CPSC bans any aerial device that has an audible effect larger than 130 mg.
Other Hazardous Substances
In general, the FHSA requires you to place a label on hazardous household products, which are defined as “hazardous substances”.
The aim of this label is to alert consumers of potential hazards, and explain how they should protect themselves. Products that have one or more of the following characteristics might require a label:
- Being toxic
- Being corrosive
- Being flammable or combustible
- Being irritant or a strong sensitizer
- It generates pressure through decomposition, heat, or other means
Also, in order to require the label, the product should have the potential to cause injury or illness due to its use. You find more information on this page.
Below, we list some examples of hazardous substances and the respective requirements under the FHSA.
Here we list some examples of hazardous substances that are covered by the FHSA:
- Acetic acid
- Carbolic acid
- Sodium and/ potassium hydroxide in drain cleaners
Below we explain some of the requirements for hazardous substances under the FHSA.
Requirements for acetic acids
The FHSA covers acetic acid. According to 16 CFR Part 1500.129(g), the Federal Caustic Poisons Act (FCPA) also covers acetic acid. The FHSA (and in turn, the FCPA) requires substances in specific concentrations to bear the signal word “poison” on the labeling.
In this case, acetic acid – or any preparation containing a concentration of 20% or more of free or chemically unneutralized acetic acid – must carry the word “poison” on its container’s label.
The CPSC specifies that if acetic acid is not designated as a poison, the lack of the word “poison” on the label would indicate to the public that the substance is of a lesser hazard. Insinuating that acetic acid is not as dangerous is not in the interest of the public’s health and safety.
Requirements for carbolic acid
According to 16 CFR Part 1500.129(d), the FCPA also covers carbolic acid. Both the FHSA and the FCPA require substances in specific concentrations to bear the signal word “poison” on their packaging label.
In this instance, the FHSA requires that carbolic acid – and any preparation containing 5% or more of carbolic acid – have the word “poison” designated to it, because it is in the interest of public health to do so.
The CPSC specifies that the signal word “poison” should be used because the usage of any other word would indicate to the consumer that the substance is less dangerous.
Requirements for drain cleaners
The FHSA bans liquid drain cleaners if they contain 10% or more by weight of sodium and/or potassium hydroxide. However, this does not apply to liquid drain cleaners if they are packaged according to special packaging rules under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.