SGS informs manufacturers and suppliers of consumer products to US markets of Senate Bill S.3278 – ‘Reese’s law’ – which, if signed into law, aims to protect children and other consumers from the hazards posed by accidental ingestion of button cells or coin batteries.
Introduced on November 30, 2021, and named after Reese Hamsmith, an 18-month-old child who died in 2020 after ingesting a button battery from a remote control, the bill requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to promulgate a consumer product safety standard requiring child-resistant closures on consumer products which use these battery types. If accepted, this must happen no later than one year after the date the bill is enacted into law.
The CPSC safety standard must contain, as a minimum, both:
- Performance standard for secured compartments, with access to these battery types by children aged 6 or younger being prevented during reasonably foreseeable use or misuse conditions
label – to be included in all applicable products:
- On the relevant battery packaging and the packaging of any consumer product containing these batteries
- In any literature, such as a user manual, that accompanies a consumer product containing these batteries
- As practicable, directly on a consumer product containing button cell or coin batteries in a manner that is visible to the consumer upon installation or replacement of the button cell or coin battery
The warning label must clearly identify the ingestion hazard and instruct consumers to keep new and used batteries out of the reach of children (as applicable). It should also instruct them to seek immediate medical attention if a battery is ingested, and follow any other consensus medical advice.
The bill also requires any button cell or coin battery, included with the consumer product or sold separately, distributed in commerce, or imported, to be packaged according to provisions in 16CFR 100.15 (Poison Prevention Packaging Standards). Child resistant packaging should meet the requirements described in 16 CFR 1700.20 (Testing Procedure for Special Packaging).
According to the bill:
Cell or Coin Battery’ is defined as one of:
- A single cell battery with a diameter greater than the height of the battery
- Any other battery, regardless of the technology used to produce an electrical charge, that is determined by the Commission to pose an ingestion hazard
- ‘Consumer Product Containing Button Cell or Coin Batteries’ is defined as a consumer product containing or designed to use one or more button cell or coin batteries, regardless of whether such batteries are intended to be replaced by the consumer or are included with the product or sold separately
- ‘Toy product’ is defined as any object designed, manufactured, or marketed as a plaything for children under 14 years of age
A voluntary standard may be promulgated by the CPSC if they determine it as meeting the requirements of the bill.
Stakeholders should be aware that toy products that follow ASTM F963 are exempt from any standard that is promulgated.
SGS Consumer Products Services
Through a global network of state-of-the-art laboratories, SGS offers consultation and comprehensive testing services (physical/mechanical, chemical, flammability, electrical safety, etc) covering the full spectrum of international product safety and regulatory standards for a wide range of consumer products. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Learn more about SGS’s Consumer Products Services.
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For further information contact:
SGS Connectivity & Products
Technical Manager (Hardlines)
Tel: +1 (905) 364-3757
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