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Product Safety Deconstructed: What Industry Pros Need To Know Now

Karolyn Helda, director of client services and global programs for AI Anseco, a global product safety and compliance company, led an informative and enlightening session at the ASI Power Summit on Tuesday. Covering topics such as what constitutes a children's product and what to look for when testing power banks, the session also revealed testing results on three different souvenir items: a novelty pen, a drinkware item and a stuffed bear wearing a college T-shirt.  

Spoiler alert: the bear passed a product safety lab testing, but the pen failed for having excessive lead content in the substrates, as did the drinkware item because it showed traces of Bisphenol A.

Helda's advice was thorough and practical: know your product; know how many are being distributed and where‎; know your audience and age grade; know how dependable your factories/suppliers are and their history; request documentation from your suppliers to substantiate claims; and talk frequently with your lab partner. For power banks in particular, Helda advised only buying certified products, reviewing certification documentation for completeness and validity and to do spot checks to test for key safety standards.