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Support of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 - Lead in Paint on Toys


After enactment of the CPSIA, a collaboration was established between the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and NIST for the purpose of developing tools for the validation of test methods for lead in paint on children's products. Collaboration began in May 2008 with staff from both NIST and CPSC laboratories establishing a working group of chemists to tackle the issues. The primary role for NIST's Chemical Sciences Division is the development of new Standard Reference Materials for lead in paint to validate test methods for both product screening and compliance enforcement testing.


Photograph of a toy race car, toy monster truck with snail face, and sagging toy bridge.

NIST is collaborating with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop methods to characterize the presence of lead paint on children’s toys 

Credit: Consumer Product Safety Commission

This project is intended to create tools for metrologically sound sampling, analysis, and testing of children's products and their component materials for the purpose of compliance with U.S. regulations governing the content of lead (Pb) in accessible parts. Additional activities are aimed at assisting manufacturers and consumers with analyses to obtain accurate, defensible results.

NIST and CPSC are collaborating on the following activities: 

  • Information gathering on types of materials and paint compositions in toys       
  • Research techniques commonly used to create paint films       
  • Research XRF and atomic spectrometric methods for Pb
  • Development of a design for prototype SRMs and identification of organizations capable of manufacturing SRM paint films
  • Development of SRMs for measurement of Pb in toys 
Created February 7, 2009, Updated October 19, 2023