Product Safety Standards and Regulations in Texas: An Overview

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Texas Product Safety Regulations

Selling consumer products in Texas sometimes requires that you comply with additional safety standards and rules. In this guide, we explain what American importers and manufacturers must know about compliance requirements concerning chemicals and heavy metals, flammability, labeling, and much more.

Important: This article only serves as an introduction to safety requirements, substance restrictions, labeling, certification, and other compliance requirements in Texas. 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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Hazardous Substances Act (HSA)

The Texas Hazardous Substances Act (HSA) regulates certain consumer products that might bear mechanical, chemical, electrical, heat, and choking hazards to the users.

It requires manufacturers, importers, repackers, and private-label distributors of these products to submit a registration form and filing fee to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) before selling them in Texas. In addition, these products must be properly labeled and packaged in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Act.

Product Scope

The consumer products regulated by this Act are those that meet the definition of a “hazardous substance” as defined under the Hazardous Substances Act, which covers products containing hazardous substances or products that bear chemical, mechanical, and other hazards. These products are grouped into the following categories:

  • General hazardous consumer products
  • Toys and games for children
  • Balloons, small balls, marbles
  • Art materials

Specifically, “General hazardous consumer products” include the following types of products:

Requirements

The HSA requires that the categories of products mentioned above must be properly labeled containing necessary information on the danger, usage, and instructions for using the products.

The HSA requires that covered products must bear labels containing information to inform the user of the dangers and risks when using, storing, and handling the products. The label should also include first aid instructions.

Labeling

Products that are sold in Texas and fall under the scope of the HSA, which include products that contain chemical or mechanical hazards, must bear proper labels informing consumers of the potential risks and usage instructions to the products.

For toys and games that are intended to be used by children, the HSA requires that such products, when presented with electrical, mechanical, or thermal hazards, should bear labels that contain enough instructions and warnings for safe use.

For example, the HSA suggests that baby gates with V-shaped and diamond-shaped openings could present an entrapment and strangulation hazard to children. And such products must bear a strangulation warning label on the product.

Art materials such as paints, enamels, and plastic resins that have the potential to produce a chronic adverse health effect to the users, should be analyzed by toxicologists and labeled according to ASTM D4236 – Standard Practice for Labeling Art Materials for Chronic Health Hazards.

For other types of hazardous consumer products regulated by the HSA, the labeling information should be accordingly described following the rules set forth in the Act.

Lab Testing

Importers or manufacturers selling hazardous consumer products as defined in the HSA in Texas should contact a consultant or a lab testing agency to know what labeling rules apply to their products, depending on the hazard type.

Particularly, products that contain chemical hazards to the users might need to display chemical components or other information on the label according to the lab testing results. This is the case, for example, of art materials, as ASTM D4236 requires a to include a list of sensitizing components in the labeling.

Flammability Rules

The Flammability Rules specified in Chapter 205, Part 1, Title 25 of Texas Administrative Code sets the requirements on flammable products sold in the State of Texas.

It serves as the supplements to the federal regulations on consumer products safety and they conform with applicable provisions and requirements of the following acts from the perspective of standards, test procedures, acceptance criteria, and performance levels:

Product Scope

The Flammability Rules cover the following types of products and substances:

  • Children’s clothing
  • Children’s sleepwear
  • Fabric toys or other flammable articles intended to be used by children
  • Flammable solids and liquids
  • Self-pressurized containers

Requirements

The Flammability Rules requires that substances or products that are defined as “flammable” shall bear a label containing at least the following information:

  • Signal word
  • Statement of the principal hazard or hazards
  • Usage instructions

The Flammability Rules also requires that size 0-6X children’s sleepwear should comply with the flammability standard set forth in 16 CFR Part 1615 – Standard for the Flammability of Children’s Sleepwear: Sizes 0 Through 6X.

Labeling

The Flammability Rules require that a flammable warning and usage instructing information must appear on the main panel of the label. Such information should be placed together and distinctively apart from other wording or designs.

The style of such labels should include the borders of a square or rectangle with or without a borderline. The typeface and color of the warning information and the label background should have a contrasting and distinctive view.

Lab Testing

Importers or manufacturers of products covered under the Texas Flammability Rules should contact a lab testing agency to confirm whether their products comply with the requirements under the Texas Flammability Rules. Lab testing agencies that provide flammability tests include SGS, TUV SUD, and Intertek.

Regulation of Certain Hazardous Substances used in Firefighting Products

The Regulation of Certain Hazardous Substances used in Firefighting Products prohibits the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals in firefighting foams.

Product Scope

This regulation covers firefighting foam designed to extinguish flammable liquid fires that contain intentionally added perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals.

Requirements

This regulation forbids manufacture, sell, and distribute firefighting foams that contain intentionally added perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals.

Lab Testing

Importers or manufacturers of firefighting foam should make sure that their products do not contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals by performing appropriate lab tests on their products.

Lead Acid Battery Management Laws

The Texas Lead Acid Battery Management Laws establish recycling and labeling rules for importers, manufacturers, retailers, or any party that sells lead-acid batteries in Texas.

Product Scope

This law covers lead-acid batteries, which are any batteries that contain lead and sulfuric acid. Here are some products that may use lead-acid batteries:

  • Electric scooters
  • Electric wheelchairs
  • Electrified bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Battery electric vehicles

Requirements

The Texas Lead Acid Battery Management Laws requires that retail businesses that sell lead-acid batteries in the State of Texas should follow these rules:

a. Post written notice containing the universal recycling symbol (the Mobius triangle sign) and the disposal statements. The size of the notice must be at least 8-1/2 inches by 11 inches in size.

b. The disposal statement should contain the following information:

  • “It is illegal to discard or improperly dispose of a motor-vehicle battery or other lead-acid battery.” and
  • “Recycle your used batteries.”; and
  • “State law requires us to accept used motor-vehicle batteries or other lead-acid batteries for recycling.”

c. Accept at least one but not more than three lead-acid batteries for recycling from each customer if offered

Lab Testing

If importers want to confirm whether they are importing or selling lead-acid batteries that contain lead and sulfuric acid, they should arrange lab tests on their products prior to the sales stage. Reputable lab testing agencies offering battery testing services include SGS, TUV SUD, and Intertek.

E-Cigarette Regulations

The e-Cigarette Regulations of Texas establish sales and packaging requirements for e-Cigarette retailers in Texas.

Product Scope

The e-Cigarette Regulations of Texas apply to electronic cigarettes or other devices that use a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit to deliver nicotine vapor for the users to inhale.

Requirements

The regulations require that e-Cigarettes retailers in Texas must register with the comptroller and receive a permit prior to the sales. The liquid nicotine sold as an accessory for an e-Cigarette must be sold in a child-resistant container.

Documentation

e-Cigarette retailers must provide their sales information of the previous month to the controller including the following items for each delivery sale:

a. Name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of each individual buyer

b. Brand or brands of the cigarettes or e-cigarettes that were sold

c. Quantity of cigarettes or e-cigarettes that were sold

Bedding Rules

The Texas Bedding Rules establish the requirements for labeling, germicidal treatment, and permit for bedding importers, manufacturers, and retailers in the State of Texas.

Product Scope

The Texas Bedding Rules covers any stuffed or filled articles that can be used by a human for sleeping or reclining purposes, which include the following type of upholstered products:

  • Mattresses
  • Mattress pads
  • Mattress protectors
  • Box springs
  • Sofa bed studio couches
  • Chair beds
  • Convertible beds
  • Pillows
  • Bolsters
  • Quilts
  • Comforters
  • Crib pads
  • Playpen pads
  • Infant carrier pads
  • Stroller pads

Requirements

It is illegal to make false or misleading statements on the label regarding the materials, constituents, and germicidal treatment of the bedding products defined in the rules.

Importers or manufacturers of bedding products should provide the required information on the labels and properly attach or stitch the labels to the products. They should also obtain the appropriate permits, as detailed in the next section.

Documentation

The Texas Bedding Rules prohibit anyone from importing, manufacturing, selling, or distributing bedding products before obtaining a permit. Each party should apply for the right permit according to their business type.

Specifically, importers of bedding products should apply for the “Importer Permit” before they are allowed to sell their products in Texas. The term of the permit is two years, which means that importers need to reapply for the permit after the term ends.

Permit fees increase based on the number of imported articles or units of filling materials the importer is requesting authorization to ship during the permit period.

You can learn more about the types of permits and the application fee on this page.

Labeling

The Bedding Rules require that the label attached to the bedding products that are wholly made of new materials should have a minimum size of 6 square inches. The label should be made with white material and printed in black ink with the following information:

a. “ALL NEW MATERIAL” (in capital letters at least one-eighth inch high)

b. The kind and grade of each material used in the filling. If more than one kind or grade of materials is used, display the constituent in the percentage in descending order by weight

c. Manufacture or importer’s permit identification number

Products Liability – Civil Practice and Remedies Code

Title 4, Chapter 82, Section 82.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code outlines the requirements of product liability in Texas. The code holds importers, manufacturers, and sellers accountable for personal injury, death, or property damage caused by a defective product.

Under the code, consumers’ negligent use of products does not exempt importers, manufacturers, or sellers from undertaking responsibility or compensation to the consumer, in the case the product resulted defective or non-compliant.

Product Scope

Product liability laws apply to a broad range of consumer products, including the following:

  • Furniture
  • Children’s products
  • Toys
  • Construction products
  • Home decors
  • Medical devices

Requirements

According to the Products Liability of Texas’s Civil Practice and Remedies Code, importers, manufacturers, or sellers are liable for the injury or harm caused to the users when such products bear designing defects or inadequate warning information.

Companies are also liable if they concealed, withhold, or misrepresented product information to the users.

Documentation

It is important that companies obtain adequate certificates, test reports, or other documentation that can prove product compliance with relevant regulations, before selling them to consumers.

Labeling

Product Liability Law of Texas explains that importers, manufacturers, or sellers are responsible for the harm or injury of the claimant when they fail to provide adequate warning or instructions on the products. This means that companies must include proper warning labels or statements attached to the products in a conspicuous way if such products bear potential dangers when being used.

On another hand, companies are generally not liable for any injury to a claimant caused by aspects of the design, formulation, or labeling of a product if such product complies with the mandatory safety standards or regulations established or adopted by the federal government and other agencies.

Lab Testing

To ensure compliance and safety of products, importers or manufacturers should contact a reputable lab testing agency to perform relevant lab tests regarding the design, materials, formulation, or other aspects of the products. They should also make sure that their product labels and documentation are compliant with applicable regulations.

Learn more

In this table, we summarized the act, rules, and laws we introduced above. You can click on the link on the right side to see the legal text.

Regulation Website
Hazardous Substances Act Link
Flammability Rules Link
Regulation of Certain Hazardous Substances used in Firefighting Products Link
Lead Acid Battery Management Laws Link
E-Cigarette Regulations Link
Bedding Rules Link
Products Liability – Civil Practice and Remedies Code Link
  • (USA & EU)

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    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information only. The content includes summaries written by our team members based on publicly available information about product safety standards, labeling, documentation, testing, processes, and other product compliance related topics. However, we don’t guarantee that we cover every single relevant regulation/standard/requirement, or that the information is free from errors, or covering every single scenario and exemption. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.

    Changes/Updates: Product standards and substance restrictions are subject to frequent updates and changes. In addition, new regulations, standards, and/or requirements may also become effective at any time. We don’t update our articles whenever new standards/regulations/rules are added or changed. We recommend that you consult a lab testing company or other professional to get the latest information about mandatory standards/regulations in your market, country, or state. Lab testing companies generally stay up to date on new and updated standards and regulations.

    National/State-Level Standards/Regulations: Many articles don't cover all European national and US state standards, regulations, and requirements. We recommend that you consult a testing company or other professional to confirm all relevant (and current) national/state level standards and regulations.
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