Companies selling products in Maine must ensure compliance with local safety standards, chemicals, and heavy metals restrictions, labeling and other compliance requirements. In this guide, we list product standards and regulations covering children’s products, furniture, packaging materials, and more.
Important: This article only serves as an introduction to safety requirements, substance restrictions, labeling, certification, and other compliance requirements in Maine. 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.
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Act to Protect Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals Released into the Home
This act sets up the limit for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) for consumer products sold in the state of Maine.
This act applies to general household products that often use PBDEs as a flame retardant to reduce flammability such as:
The act prohibits anyone from manufacturing, selling, or offering products in Maine that fulfill the following requirements:
a. Products containing more than 0.1% by weight of the “penta” or “octa” mixtures of PBDEs
b. Mattresses or upholstered furniture that have plastic fibers containing the “deca” mixture of PBDEs
c. Televisions or computers that have a plastic housing containing the “deca” mixture of PBDEs
To test whether your products contain PBDEs over the limit set forth in this act, you can arrange PBDEs tests from a reliable laboratory such as QIMA, SGS, and TÜV SÜD.
Lead Poisoning Control Act
The Lead Poisoning Control Act sets up rules and restrictions for the lead concentration level on certain consumer products.
The Lead Poisoning Control Act covers interiors, furniture, toys, and children’s articles such as:
- Plush toys
- Wooden building blocks
- Drinking bottles
The Lead Poisoning Control Act sets up rules for the use of lead in children’s products and household furniture in Maine.
Restrictions on the use of lead-based substances
Section 1316, Chapter 252 of the Lead Poisoning Control Act prohibits companies from using or applying lead-based substances (e.g. paint, adhesive, polishing) to the following articles:
a. Interiors and fixtures of the dwelling, residential child-care facility, or preschool facility
c. Household furniture
Restrictions on lead-containing children’s products
Section 1316A, Chapter 252 prohibits companies from manufacturing, selling, or distributing children’s products and toys containing more than 0.009% of lead by total weight.
The above lead content requirement only applies to the base material of a product or product component. It does not apply to the paint or surface coating of the product.
This section applies but is not limited to the following categories of products that are intended to be used by children under the age of 12 years old:
Manufacturers of children’s toys, articles, and household furniture that are covered by this act should arrange testing for their products in a reputable laboratory to make sure the lead content does not exceed the limit required by this act.
Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products Law
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection classifies toxic chemicals contained in children’s products into three tiers under the Toxic Chemical in Children’s Products Law:
- Chemicals of Concern
- Chemicals of High Concern
- Priority Chemicals
The prioritization level increases on each tier. The list of Chemicals of Concern currently contains around 1,400 compounds of toxic chemicals that existed in consumer products. From this list, the Department picks out chemicals of high concern to further study and review their toxicity. Chemicals may be elevated to priority chemical status which results in regulatory action.
Currently, manufacturers of children’s products containing substances from the list of Priority Chemicals are required to report to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The Toxic Chemical in Children’s Products Law applies to a broad range of products that are intended to be used by children such as:
- Food and beverage containers
- Cosmetics and personal care products
- Toys and games
- Child safety seats
- Craft supplies
- Occasion supplies
Chapter 1699 of Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products Law requires that manufacturers selling children’s products containing any of Maine’s priority chemicals in an amount greater than the “De Minimis” must report to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection within 30 days before selling the products in Maine, and create a Certificate of Compliance.
According to the definition in this section, “De Minimis” of a high concern chemical means:
a. The practical quantification limit of a chemical that is intentionally added to a children’s product, which might vary according to the chemical
b. A contaminant with a concentration higher than 100 parts per million present in a children’s product
Currently, there are 9 categories of substances in the list of Priority Chemicals. Manufacturers selling children’s products containing these substances must report to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection:
- Bisphenol A
- Flame Retardants
- Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates
Manufacturers or distributors should provide the following information when requested:
a. Certificates of Compliance attesting that the children’s product does not contain the priority chemical, or
b. A list of the names and addresses of the persons (i.e. distributors, sellers, resellers, etc.) who are selling the products if the products are deemed to be non-compliant by the department
Manufacturers or distributors selling children’s products in Maine must conduct chemical tests on their products and make sure whether their products contain either one of the 9 substances in the list of Priority Chemicals.
Residential Upholstered Furniture
The Residential Upholstered Furniture Law prohibits companies from selling upholstered furniture containing over 0.1% by weight of flame retardant chemicals.
The Residential Upholstered Furniture Law covers upholstered furniture intended to be used indoors that consists wholly or partly of resilient cushioning materials enclosed within a covering made of fabrics or related materials. This definition covers a broad range of furniture such as:
- Upholstered chairs
- Bean bags
The Residential Upholstered Furniture Law outlined in Chapter 16 of the Sale of Consumer Products Affecting the Environment prohibits anyone from selling or offering to sell upholstered furniture containing more than 0.1% by weight of flame-retardant chemicals in the following parts:
- Fabric materials
- Covering materials
- Cushioning materials
This law covers flame-retardant chemicals including but not limited to:
- Halogenated flame retardants
- Phosphorus-based flame retardants
- Nitrogen-based flame retardants
- Nanoscale flame retardants
Manufacturers of upholstered furniture should conduct flame retardant tests on their products to make sure that such products do not contain more than 0.1% of flame retardants regulated by this law.
An Act To Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution
This act set up rules on the use and notification system for the use of PFAS on certain consumer products in Maine.
The requirements of this act apply to manufacturers who use PFAS on their products to enhance the performance on flammability, anti-grease, and anti-sickness. Products that often contain PFAS include:
- Grease-resistant paper
- Fast food containers/wrappers
- Microwave popcorn bags
- Pizza boxes
- Candy wrappers
- Nonstick cookware
- Upholstery furniture
- Water-resistant clothing
- Cleaning products
This act phases in the requirements for the prohibition of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in consumer products sold in Maine.
The first phase, initiated on 1 January 2023, requires manufacturers who intentionally add PFAS to their products must report to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, providing the following information:
a. Product description
b. An explanation of why the PFAS are used in the product and which product components the PFAS are used
c. The amount of each of the PFAS used in the products identified by its chemical abstracts service registry number. The amount can be expressed in an exact quantity or a range
d. Manufacturer’s information such as the name, address, contact person, and phone number
e. Any additional information if necessary
At the same time, also effective January 1, 2023, this act prohibits the sales of carpets or rugs that contain intentionally- added PFAS.
The last stage of this act, effective from January 1, 2030, is the implementation of a complete prohibition of the use of PFAS on other consumer products. This means that the use of PFAS is permanently disallowed after that date.
Manufacturers selling carpets and rugs in Maine must test their products in a laboratory to make sure their products do not contain any PFAS after 1 January 2023.
Mercury-Added Products Sales Bans, Labeling and Notification Requirements
The Mercury-Added Products Sales Bans, Labeling, and Notification Requirements establish the sales prohibition, labeling, and notification requirements for certain mercury-added products.
The requirements of this law apply to the following products that contain mercury:
- Switches and relays
- Measure equipment
- Medical devices
This law prohibits any person from selling or distributing the following mercury-added measure equipment, batteries, and medical devices:
- Switches and relays
- Button cell batteries
- Esophageal dilators, bougie tubes, and gastrointestinal tubes
For other products containing mercury, manufacturers shall notify the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and apply the relevant labels.
This law requires that mercury-added products that are not banned from sale in Maine may be offered for sale or distribution after the manufacturer notify the Maine Department of Environmental Protection of the presence, purpose, and amount of mercury in the product.
You can read more about the notification requirements on this page.
This law requires that mercury-added products that are not banned from sale, including lamps, and certain motor vehicle components must be properly labeled.
The label should contain information informing the consumers that mercury is present in the product and that the product should not be disposed of until the mercury is removed and reused, recycled, and does not become part of the solid waste.
Manufacturers of products covered by this law should be careful about the applicable prohibition, notification, and labeling requirements to their products. To detect whether their products contain mercury, manufacturers should arrange a mercury test for their products prior to selling in Maine.
An Act To Protect the Environment and Public Health by Further Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Packaging
This act prohibits the unnecessary addition of certain heavy metals, PFAS, and phthalates in packaging and packaging components.
The requirements of this act apply to consumer packaging, food packaging, and shipment packaging include but are not limited to the following:
- Single-use food packaging
- Shipping containers
- Carrying cases
- Rigid foil
- Wrapping films
The requirements also apply to the packaging components, including:
- Interior or exterior blocking
This act restricts the concentration levels of the following heavy metals contained in the packaging and packaging components to be less than 0.01% by weight:
- Hexavalent chromium
This act prohibits sales of food packaging containing phthalates and PFAS in Maine. This requirement does not apply to manufacturers of food or beverage products that have annual national sales of all food and beverage products of less than one billion dollars.
A manufacturer that is exempted from the phthalates and PFAS prohibition must submit a written request to the Department of Environmental Protection explaining that he or she fulfills the exemption requirements in this section.
The Department will decide whether they approve the exemption or not. A 2-year exemption may be granted to the qualified manufacturer.
Manufacturers of product packaging selling in Maine must arrange tests for their products in accordance with this act. Laboratories that provide heavy metal, phthalates, or PFAS lab testing services include SGS, Intertek, and TÜV SÜD.
|Act to Protect Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals Released into the Home||Link|
|Lead Poisoning Control Act||Link|
|Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products Law||Link|
|Residential Upholstered Furniture||Link|
|An Act To Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution||Link|
|Mercury-Added Products Sales Bans, Labeling and Notification Requirements||Link|
|An Act To Protect the Environment and Public Health by Further Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Packaging||Link|