Consumer Product Safety
For over 50 years, Atomic Echo Labs has helped clients assess the safety of consumer products being brought to market or already on the shelves. Does the product emit any volatiles that may be harmful, leach any chemicals that may be detrimental to the consumer, or break down or deteriorate under extreme use conditions to release chemicals of concern to the safety of the user? These are some of the questions Atomic Echo Labs routinely investigates and answers.
Atomic Echo Labs scientific experts help with issues of interest to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a government agency charged with ensuring that products sold to consumers are safe. Atomic Echo Labs has been engaged in testing products that were either the subject of consumer complaints, part of quality assurance because of earlier problems or contain new technology that may be of interest to the CPSC.
Our experts have testified before the CPSC, presenting data and conclusions based on our materials sciences expertise in surface analysis, chemical compositional and trace contamination analysis. We perform extractables and leachables testing, plastics and polymers characterization and degradation analysis, as well as deformulation (chemical compositional) analysis and screening for heavy metals.
Extractables and leachables: These studies identify chemicals released or migrated from a consumer product under conditions of normal use. The CPSC has been concerned with toxic chemicals leaching from products that have close skin contact.
Polymer deformulation/degradation: Atomic Echo Labs has years of experience helping companies to identify and quantify the components in plastic materials and any degradants that may be present as a result of stressors, a process also known as reverse engineering.
Heavy metals: The EU published guidance for analysis of trace metals that may be released from jewelry or other items when in contact with skin. These have the potential for allergic reactions. Atomic Echo Labs has the expertise in designing the appropriate experiments and analyses for determining the quantity of metal released – if any.
A company selling a market-leading wearable device encountered consumer complaints of skin rashes and irritation when their product was used as intended. The company was invested in their product and committed to ensuring the safety of their customers. Atomic Echo Labs conducted appropriate extractable and leachable studies to show the chemicals present and the chemicals released when used as intended. Atomic Echo Labs also quantitated the amount of chemicals that were released. These results were relayed by the client to CPSC, and Atomic Echo Labs further addressed any concerns regarding methodology and validity of the testing with CPSC on behalf of the client.
Atomic Echo Labs has performed E&L studies on new products, as well as routine quality assurance checks on products manufactured overseas. This continual monitoring helped reduce the clients’ consumer complaints to near zero.