Safety testing for books is a certification requirement that rises from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The act was intended to make sure that products sold in the US were free from harmful materials. PrintNinja offers safety testing services through third-party labs based in Hong Kong. We offer the service for books as well as for games.
Safety testing for books is most commonly required when your book or game is targeted to a young demographic, especially when connected with anticipated distribution through a book retailer. Our board book printing customers, for instance, often submit samples for testing.
Games – especially those targeted to children under 13 years of age – will likely require additional testing or certifications. Games often use small pieces – dice, small tokens, even custom miniatures – that present choking hazards to young children. If you want to market a game to children, you may need to test to additional US standards so that your game is considered safe. Without testing, games can only be labeled for ages 13 and up. (It’s clearly better to design with the tests in mind, because it’s very expensive to fail a test for a game piece that you have tooled up and purchase many thousands of before you get into testing!)
If you are targeting distribution in Europe for books or games, you may also want additional safety tests to verify that your game meets all CE marking requirements.
All of that said – we have never had a product fail a safety test. The likelihood that a printed book would fail a test is quite low. The materials that are used in printing today simply aren’t the kind of materials that are subject to contamination from lead, phtalates, or other dangerous compounds.
The attachment below is an example of the output of a safety testing for books request that we performed in 2017. The test was for a board book, and the output is representative of the output that satisfies insurance companies and distribution partners.