A number of new restrictions came into effect on Friday (14 August) governing products sold to children - including apparel and footwear - under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

Among other things CPSIA places tighter regulations on lead content, with the maximum allowable total lead content of items for children aged 12 and under now reduced by half to 300 parts per million.

Another new regulation requires a tracking label to be permanently applied to any product meant for children, detailing the product's production location and date, as well as the manufacturer's name and the product's batch or lot number. 

Launched in response to a string of high profile lead-related product recalls over the past couple of years, the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) came into force on 10 February this year.

The legislation aims to improve the safety of children's products - and in particular protect children from poisoning - by limiting the amount of lead and phthalates (chemicals commonly found in plastics) found in a range of items such as apparel and footwear, toys, bicycles and books on sale in the US.

The 14 August deadline is the second of three phase-in dates for reductions in lead standards for children's products.

The third comes on 14 August 2011, when the allowable lead content falls again, to 100 ppm.

The rule's testing and certification requirements, however, were postponed for one year to 10 February 2010.