Selling products in Tennessee sometimes requires that you follow local product standards, substance restrictions, labeling, and documentation requirements. In this guide, we explain what you need to know about compliance requirements applicable to children’s products, lighters, plastic containers, and more.
Important: This article only serves as an introduction to safety requirements, substance restrictions, labeling, certification, and other compliance requirements in Tennessee. 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.
Hazardous Substances Act
The Hazardous Substances Act sets up general safety requirements for products that contain hazardous substances. It prohibits the sale or distribution of children’s products and household products that contain substances that could cause harmful consequences to the users, such as highly toxic or corrosive substances.
Also, it sets labeling and warning requirements for other classes of consumer products that contain hazardous substances, such as for example flammable or corrosive products.
The requirements of the Hazardous Substances Act apply to toys and children’s products that might contain hazardous substances, such as for example:
- Children’s cosmetics and personal care products
- Electronic toys
The Hazardous Substances Act also apply to other consumer products that include substances that are deemed to be:
- Strong sensitizer
The Hazardous Substances Act bans certain hazardous substances and products to be used by children and some substances packed as household products, which have the following features:
a. Such products are or contain hazardous substances (i.e. being toxic, corrosive, irritant, combustible, or have other features that can harm the user)
b. Such products is a children’s product that presents electrical, mechanical, or thermal hazards
The Hazardous Substances Act also forbids the following behaviors:
a. Selling hazardous products that are not properly labeled
b. Altering, mutilating, destructing, or removing any part of the label of the hazardous products
Also, the commissioner should promulgate the regulations under this act in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
The Hazardous Substances Act requires that hazardous products that are not forbidden for sales, such as chemical sets or fireworks, must bear the following label information:
a. The name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, distributor, or seller
b. The common or usual name or the chemical name
c. The signal word “DANGER” if the substances are extremely flammable, corrosive, or highly toxic
d. The signal word “WARNING” or “CAUTION” on all other hazardous substances
e. The descriptive word for the danger feature of the substances such as “Flammable,” “Combustible,” “Causes Burns,” or similar wordings
f. Precautionary measures, handling instructions, or first aid methods
g. The word “poison” for any hazardous substance if the product is defined as “highly toxic”
h. Instructions and care methods for handling and storage of bulk shipments and packages
i. The statement “Keep out of the reach of children” if not intended to be used by children
Manufacturers should contact an experienced laboratory and arrange testing services to determine if their product includes hazardous substances that are covered by the act, such as toxic or corrosive substances.
Sale or Gift of Certain Novelty Lighters Prohibited
The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act Part 1, Section 47-18-129 prohibits the sale or distribution of novelty lighters in Tennessee.
Examples of novelty lighters include lighters that have an appearance of:
- Cartoon characters
- Toy animals
- Musical instruments
Tennessee Consumer Protection Act Part 1, Section 47-18-129 prohibits the sale or distribution of novelty lighters.
This act defines “novelty lighter” as lighters that have entertaining audio or visual effects, or have physical form or function that are appealing to or intended for use by children of 10 years of age or younger.
These lighters might have the appearance of cartoon characters, animals, or can play musical notes, or have flashing lights or other entertaining features.
Labeling of Plastic Containers
Tennessee Code Title 68, Chapter 101 on Miscellaneous Safety and Environmental Regulations set up rules on the labeling of plastic containers sold in Tennessee.
The requirements from this code apply to:
a. Plastic bottles with a snap cap, or other closure and have a capacity between sixteen ounces and five gallons
b. Rigid plastic containers are intended for single use with a capacity between eight ounces and five gallons
The Tennessee Code requires that plastic containers must be labeled with a code identifying the appropriate resin type used to produce the structure of the container.
The sign is made of triangulated arrows, a code, and an abbreviation of the plastic. The numbers and letters used shall be as follows:
- Polyethylene terephthalate = PETE 1
- High-density polyethylene = HDPE 2
- Vinyl = V 3
- Low-density polyethylene = LDPE 4
- Polypropylene = PP 5
- Polystyrene = PS 6
- Other plastic resin = OTHER 7
You can find an example of the plastic recycling symbol here
Tennessee Code, Title 68, Chapter 15, Part 2 on Bedding Materials set up labeling rules for manufacturers or sellers of bedding products with filling materials.
The Bedding Materials law cover the following products:
- Mattress pads
- Mattress protector pads
- Box springs
- Upholstered springs
- Upholstered sofa beds
- Quilted pads
- Sleeping bags
The Bedding Materials law requires that each new bedding article sold in Tennessee must be securely and permanently attached with a white cloth label of no less than 6 square inches in size.
The label should contain the following statements written in the English language:
- Description of the kind of materials used as the filling materials in percentage
- A statement that the materials are new
- The name, address of the manufacturer, distributor, or vendor
Product Liability laws in Tennessee define manufacturers’ and sellers’ liability and limitation in the liability actions.
Product Liability laws in Tennessee apply to consumer products such as:
- Electronic cigarettes
- Personal protective equipment
- Household appliances
- Children’s products
- Construction products
Under the Product Liability law of Tennessee, manufacturers are held responsible for the injury or loss of the claimants based on the theories of negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty. Manufacturers of consumer products should ensure the safety of the products from the following aspects:
Manufacturers are responsible to provide sufficient warning information or instructions to guide the users to avoid dangers caused by inappropriate use of the products.
Manufacturers are responsible to make sure that their products are safe to use. They should hire a laboratory to test whether their products are compliant with the applicable laws in Tennessee.
|Hazardous Substances Act||Link|
|Sale or Gift of Certain Novelty Lighters Prohibited||Link|
|Labeling of Plastic Containers||Link|
|Product Liability Law||Link|