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Regulatory Issues for a Sustainable Candle Industry. Rob Harrington, Ph.D. Director, Regulatory and Safety Blyth, Inc. April 17, 2008. Regulations and Regulatory Issues Facing the Industry. Regulations Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

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Regulatory issues for a sustainable candle industry

Regulatory Issues for a Sustainable Candle Industry

Rob Harrington, Ph.D.

Director, Regulatory and Safety

Blyth, Inc.

April 17, 2008

Regulations and regulatory issues facing the industry
Regulations and Regulatory Issues Facing the Industry

  • Regulations

    • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

    • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

    • ASTM, Proposition 65

    • International Equivalents

  • Regulatory issues

    • Consumer Product Safety Act

    • Phthalates in fragrances and air care products

    • California consumer product air regulations

Cpsc regulations
CPSC Regulations

  • No specific labeling requirements for candles

  • Companies must notify CPSC if a product is defective or presents an unreasonable hazard

  • Most CPSC enforcement actions and fines are a result of a company failing to notify CPSC of a product hazard/defect

  • CPSC has procedures in the event a product needs to be recalled

Consumer product safety act section 15 b
Consumer Product Safety Act(Section 15(b))

Every manufacturer of a consumer product distributed in commerce, and every distributor and retailer of such product, who obtains information which reasonably supports the conclusion that such product—

(1) fails to comply with an applicable consumer product safety rule or with a voluntary consumer product safety standard

(2) contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard or

(3) creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death,

Consumer product safety act section 15 b con t
Consumer Product Safety Act (Section 15(b)) - con’t


immediately inform the Commission of such failure to comply, of such defect, or of such risk, unless such manufacturer, distributor, or retailer has actual knowledge that the Commission has been adequately informed of such defect, failure to comply, or such risk.

Recall procedures
Recall procedures

  • File an initial report with CPSC immediately (provide the manufacturer, product, defect, assessment of the risk of injury)

  • File a full report when the information is available

  • CPSC makes a preliminary determination

  • Companies may instead do a “fast-track” voluntary recall

  • For information, consult the CPSC recall handbook at

Recall procedures con t
Recall procedures (con’t)

  • Develop/submit a corrective action plan

    • Determine the defect and cause

    • Determine how many and the location of the products

    • Method of notification to retailers and customers (letters, notices at point of sale, TV/radio)

    • Refund/replace/repair?

    • Provide information and company contact (toll free number, website, address)

    • Periodic reports to CPSC on progress

Federal trade commission ftc
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

  • Regulates label information through the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA)

    • Product Identity

    • Net contents

    • Manufacturer’s name and address

  • Regulates advertising claims

Identity statement
Identity Statement

  • Must be on the Principal Display Panel (PDP - that part of a label that is most likely to be displayed, presented, shown, or examined under normal and customary conditions of display for retail sale

  • Should be the principal feature of the label

  • Must be generally parallel to the base

  • Must not be false, misleading or deceptive

Net content statement
Net Content Statement

  • Must be on the principal display Panel (PDP)

  • Must be expressed in terms of quantity, size, weight or a combination thereof

  • Must be expressed in both English and metric units (ounces and grams or inches and centimeters)

    • Jar candles normally expressed in oz./g

    • Pillars expressed in in./cm height and diameter

    • Tapers and irregularly shaped expressed in in./cm height

    • Tealights normally sold by quantity

  • Must be in bottom third of the PDP label, parallel to the base and has minimum font size requirements

Manufacturer name address
Manufacturer Name & Address

  • Can appear conspicuously on any surface

  • Should include the street address, city, state and zip code (street address is not needed if the company appears in a phone book or city directory)

  • Can use “Distributed by ___” or “Manufactured for __” instead of the actual manufacturer’s name if the statement is accurate

Advertising claims
Advertising Claims

  • Includes labels, catalogs, print/broadcast media

  • “You are what you claim” and are regulated by what you claim to be.

  • Advertising claims enforced by the FTC, State’s Attorneys General, the National Advertising Division of the BBB and private lawsuits

Claims con t
Claims (con’t)

  • Must be truthful, accurate and supported by reasonable information

  • May be required to generate test data to support some claims

  • Must be scientifically and statistically sound

Environmental claims
Environmental Claims

  • Claims should be clear and specific to the product, package or both.

  • Claims must not be overstated

  • Avoid vague and general environmental claims; these would be assumed to apply to everything associated with the product

  • Must be able to clearly substantiate the claim with data

Environmental claims1
Environmental Claims

  • General statements like “Environmentally friendly” must be fully explained or qualified or the product have must have virtually no environmental issues

  • EXAMPLE: Cannot state “Environmentally friendly” if it is biodegradable but toxic to the environment

  • EXAMPLE: Cannot state “Environmentally safe” if it is non-toxic but generates VOC’s or hazardous products that harm atmosphere

  • See 16 CR 260 for additional guidelines


  • The product must be able to be recovered from a waste stream

  • Facilities to recover the material must be readily available to most consumers

  • Should specify what part of the product is recyclable (package, product, specific part)

  • May require substantial qualification of claim

Recycled content
Recycled Content

  • Unqualified statement of “recycled’ means that the product is 100% recycled

  • Should specify if the recycled claim is referring to the product package or both

  • The recycled content refers to materials that were recovered from a waste stream


Means the entire product is 100% recycled

and is recyclable

Means that the product is 100% recycled but

not necessarily recyclable


Means that the product is only XX% recycled but

Is not necessarily recyclable

XX% Recycled


Means the entire product is recyclable but not

necessarily made of recycled material


Astm labeling requirements
ASTM Labeling Requirements

  • ASTM F2058- Standard Specification for Candle Fire Safety Labeling –updated 2007

  • The updated warning consists of:

    /!\ WARNING

    Burn within sight

    Keep away from things that catch fire

    Keep away from children

    (or the equivalent)

Astm labeling requirements1
ASTM Labeling Requirements

  • ASTM warning must appear directly on free standing candles (except tealights) and on external packaging (if sold in a box or other package) so as to be visible at point of sale

  • Font size requirements are based on the size of the panel on which the warning appears

  • For small candles and all tapers an abbreviated warning consisting of:

    /!\ Burn within sight (or the equivalent)

    may be used in place of the full warning

  • Optional use of pictograms along with the wording

Proposition 65
Proposition 65

  • In 2000, the candle industry was involved with a Prop 65 lawsuit

  • It was alleged that candles exposed California residents to soot, benzene, lead and other listed chemicals

  • The settlement required on all scented candles 3.5 inches in diameter or larger to have:

    “To reduce sooting, you must trim the wick to ¼ inch each time the candle is to be relit. Avoid using in drafty areas.”

Fda and candles
FDA and Candles

  • Candles labeled for any personal care application are regulated as cosmetics by the FDA

  • FDA and CPSC have dual jurisdiction over these candles

  • These candles must meet FDA cosmetic regulations as well as candle safety and labeling requirements

  • Must comply with FDA ingredient restrictions, ingredient labeling, warnings, reporting obligations and other FDA cosmetic regulations

Canadian regulations
Canadian Regulations

  • Requires all text to appear in both English and French except trademarks and manufacturer name/address (so the ASTM warning should appear in French)

  • In 2003 Canada proposed mandatory labeling and safety requirements

  • Proposed regulation likely to reappear in 2008

    • Bilingual fire safety warnings (different than ASTM) but will allow for equivalent wording

    • Ban lead wicks

    • Ban spontaneously re-lighting candles

Mexican regulations
Mexican Regulations

  • Requires certain information to appear prominently in Spanish (may also appear in other languages)

    • Identity of the product

    • Net contents in metric units

    • Name/address of manufacturer

    • Country of origin statement

    • Precautionary statements (like ASTM warning)

    • Name and address of importer

    • Directions and instructions (if necessary)

European candle regulations fire safety
European Candle RegulationsFire Safety

  • EN 15493 “Candles – Specification of Fire Safety”

    • Stability (10º tilt test)

    • Secondary ignition

    • Flame height 3”/75mm (1.25”/30 mm for tealights)

    • Self extinguish at end of life

    • No re-ignition or afterglow/smoking more than 20 seconds

    • Maximum sooting standard

European candle regulations labeling
European Candle Regulations Labeling

  • EN 15494 - Candles -Product Safety Label

    • Never leave a burning candle unattended.

    • Burn candle out of the reach of children and pets.

    • Always leave at least X cm between burning candles.

    • Do not burn candles on or near anything that can catch fire.

  • Option to use text only, pictograms only or both

  • Text must appear in the national language where sold

  • 11 Additional optional warnings/pictograms provided

Consumer product safety modernization act house vs cpsc reform act senate
Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act (House)vs. CPSC Reform Act (Senate)

  • The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have very different versions of this bill

  • Both overhauls many responsibilities of the CPSC

  • Both increase staff and budget

Cpsc act


Up to $10MM fine

AG’s may act against a non compliant product

Disclose product data under some circumstances

New lead restrictions

No whistleblower provision included


Up to $20MM fine

AG’s may act against any product they deem unsafe

Establish a searchable database on website with all injury reports

New lead restrictions

Whistleblowers given protection; can sue



  • Phthalates are a class of chemicals used for many things including softening plastic and dissolving fragrances

  • Some phthalates have been shown to cause cancer and reproductive effects

  • NRDC conducted a “study” on air fresheners and alleged dangerous levels of phthalates in products

  • NRDC Petitioned EPA and CPSC to require submission of data, extensive product safety testing, labeling and formula disclosure (9-19-07)


New Study: Common Air Fresheners Contain Chemicals

That May Affect Human Reproductive Development

Environmental Group Calls for Additional Testing, Consumer Awareness to Prevent Risky Exposure

NEW YORK (September 19, 2007) – An analysis of more than a dozen common household air fresheners found that most contain chemicals that may affect hormones and reproductive development, particularly in babies, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said today. The federal government does not currently test air fresheners for safety or require manufacturers to meet any specific safety standards. The study offers both consumers and officials new information on the risks certain air fresheners pose.

Phthalates con t
Phthalates (con’t)

  • EPA denied all aspects of the petition across the board

  • EPA requested voluntary disclosure of some information on fragrances and air fresheners by the 7 companies cited in the petition

  • EPA, industry members and NRDC (and other environmental groups) are involved in dialogue

  • Candles were specifically mentioned in the EPA/CPSC petition, but have not been discussed as part of the phthalate or fragrance dialogue with EPA

California air resources board
California Air Resources Board

  • Regulates volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from consumer products

  • Currently seeking to significantly reduce VOC emissions from air fresheners

  • Candles have escaped these regulations

  • CARB has expressed concerns about normal candle emissions and safety

  • Fragrance formulations in air fresheners are under close scrutiny and are the subject of enforcement actions

  • AB-32 Greenhouse gas emissions issues?