Minimizing Product Risk Through Toxicological Risk Assessment (TRA) Testing

The substance toxicity of everyday consumer products is a growing concern for the public, and for good reason. Ongoing research continues to find new links between daily chemical exposure and health problems, ranging from allergic reactions to serious lifelong effects. A Toxicological Risk Assessment (TRA) is necessary for manufacturers of just about any product to ensure that they are not unintentionally releasing hazardous substances into their consumers’ bodies or the environment.

A TRA first establishes the inherent dangers of a product's individual substances (chemicals linked to human health and/or environmental hazards), and then considers the potential exposure of that substance to humans or the environment through both foreseeable and unintended use.

TRA testing is generally performed at the early stages of product development to ensure that the design is safe for use before a single unit of the product is manufactured. Toxicological results are then weighed against the manufacturer's particular market regulations, and the tests can also be used to influence labeling considerations, such as safe usage instructions and warnings.

National and international standards grow increasingly strict about products meant for direct human contact, like cosmetics, children's toys, and art materials.

TRA Test Evaluations

Chemical Toxicity Evaluations

Every substance within a product should be analyzed (individually and as combined formulas) for inherent toxicity traits that can cause immediate health hazards, such as skin rashes, eye irritation, respiratory problems and nausea; along with longer-term problems, such as reproductive disorders, organ damage, childhood development disorders, and cancer.

Potential Exposure Evaluations

Once all product substances have been analyzed for their inherent toxicity, a TRA should consider the physical characteristics of the product, along with a handler's vulnerability to exposure -- through either intended or probable use. Not all products are designed to be children's toys, but their location within a living space makes interaction with children likely. The product's size and shape may be such that children could easily mouth the item, resulting in ingestion or absorption of the substance.

Whether a product is being properly used or misused, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to market products that do not pose health risks for anyone who comes in contact with them.

The Labeling and Hazardous Arts Materials Act (LHAMA)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states: "All formulations of art materials that are offered for sale to consumers of all ages in the United States must be evaluated by a toxicologist for their potential to cause adverse chronic health effects, prior to such products being offered for sale." This would include products such as paints, crayons, modeling clay, and glue.

Once a chronic hazard review has been performed, the product can be labeled to specify any particular health hazards or precautionary statements in accordance with ASTM D4236 - 94 (2016) "Standard Practice for Labeling Art Materials for Chronic Health Hazards".

Let a Reliable Testing Service Help Assess the Risks of Your Products

QIMA Lab Testing offers toxicological assessment services for all products as early as the design stage, so that you can establish safe manufacturing procedures and substance usage at the very beginning of production.

Our TRA testing covers all national and international regulations, which includes toys and cosmetics in major markets like the EU and the United States. We also provide guidance for proper labeling, including California's Prop 65 warning label requirements.

Easily Schedule Your TRA Tests Online

Our online platform and mobile application make it easy for you to schedule Toxicological Risk Assessment testing, and receive your results at any time. Book new tests, view pending orders, and access results from your mobile device. Our online platform provides valuable supply chain insights, including a summary of your QC activity, all of your supplier’s quality stats, industry benchmarking data, and more.

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