Purse Choking Hazard Warning: US State and Amazon Seller Requirements (2023)

Bag suffocation warnings are required in several major US states, including New York and California. Additionally, insect suffocation warnings are printed on polythene bags. In this guide, we explain what US brands need to know about bag suffocation warning requirements, including warning text, locations, disclaimers, and more.

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Purse Choking Hazard Warning: US State and Amazon Seller Requirements (1)

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Are suffocation warnings mandatory in the United States?

According to our research, only the following five US states have regulations on bag choking warnings:

  • California
  • NY
  • Massachusetts
  • Virginia
  • Rhode Island

Warning label requirements differ from state to state in terms of bag dimensions, warning text, locations, and more.

general requirements

(Video) Bag Suffocation Warning: What Importers & Amazon Sellers Must Know

Here are some of the general requirements used to determine if a bag choke warning is necessary:

  • Minimum bag dimensions
  • Minimum opening bag size
  • Minimum bag capacity
  • bag thickness

Additional requirements include:

  • print size notice
  • repeated warning text


The five states listed above require companies to post the suffocation warning statement in a conspicuous location on the bag or in alabel attached to the bag.

In Rhode Island, companies may also print the warning on the outer wrapper of packages, rather than on each bag, if the bags are designed for internal processing use (for example, freezer bags and waste disposal bags). .

Additional requirements

Some states have additional requirements.

For example, California requires businesses to print warning text using methods such as offset or letterpress. Compliance with this requirement prevents smearing and ensures the clarity of printed text.

Rhode Island, on the other hand, requires businesses to print their warning text in bold.

Which US states require suffocation warning labels on the bag?

Based on our findings, only the five states listed below and two major cities (New York and Chicago) require suffocation warning labels on bags.

In the table below, we compare each state's top requirements for bag suffocation alerts.

CaliforniaNYMassachusettsVirginiaRhode Island
Title of the regulationBusiness and Professions Code, Division 8 Chapter 13 - Polyethylene Plastic MaterialsTitle 10, Part 12, Section 12.12 - Warning label required on certain plastic materials105 CMR 630.000: PLASTIC BAGS AND PLASTIC WRAP§18.2-320. Sale etc. of plastic bags; notification required.Title 11, Chapter 11-9, Section § 11-9-16. Plastic bags — Labeling
kind of productPlastic bags:

1. It is used to deliver products to customers.

2. It is used to pack products for customers.

Plastic bags:

1. For domestic use.

2. It is used to package products intended for domestic or domestic use.

3. Whose design can encourage children to use them as toys

Plastic bags:

1. For domestic use.

2. It is used to package products intended for domestic or domestic use.

3. Whose design can encourage children to use them as toys

Plastic bags used to store freshly washed clothesPlastic bags (polyethylene) intended for:

1. Domestic use

2. Packaging products for domestic use

bag dimensions"Big enough to fit a child's head." (for example, capacity greater than 125 cubic inches)Total length and width equal to 25 inches or moreTotal length and width equal to 25 inches or moreTotal length equal to 25 inches or more/
bag opening sizeLarger than 25 square inchesOpening side > 7 inches or moreDiameter 7 inches or more (when shaped into a circle)/More than 5 inches in diameter
bag capacityMore than 125 cubic inches////
bag thicknessLess than 0.001 inchesLess than 0.001 inchesless than a thousandLess than 0.001 inchesLess than 0.001 inches
print size noticeThe print size depends on the dimensions of the bag

For example, 10 points if the total length and width of the bag is less than 30 inches

The print size depends on the dimensions of the bag

For example, at least 24 points if the total length and width of the bag is 60 inches or more.

The print size depends on the dimensions of the bag

For example, at least 18 points if the total length and width of the bag is 40 inches to 60 inches, but not including them.

Type of at least 36 pointsThe print size depends on the dimensions of the bag

For example, 10 points if the total length and width of the bag is less than 30 inches

Repeated message texts//Required for bags with length and width > 40 inches//
notice text“CAUTION: KEEP AWAY FROM LITTLE CHILDREN. THE THIN FILM MAY STICK TO THE NOSE AND MOUTH AND IMPEDE BREATHING”“WARNING: To avoid a suffocation hazard, keep this plastic bag out of the reach of babies and children. Do not use this bag on cribs, beds, strollers, or play fences.”“WARNING: To avoid a suffocation hazard, keep this plastic bag out of the reach of babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, strollers, or playpens. This bag is not a toy.“WARNING: To avoid a suffocation hazard, keep this plastic bag out of the reach of babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, strollers, or playpens.”“Keep away from children – may cause suffocation”

“WARNING: Keep this bag out of the reach of babies and children. Do not use in cribs, beds, strollers, or playpens. The thin film can stick to the nose and mouth and prevent breathing."

Know moreLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Are bag choke warnings required when selling on Amazon?

Amazon requires plastic bags to display a suffocation warning when those bags have an opening that measures 5 inches or larger. Amazon also provides an example of a suffocation warning text:

Notice:To avoid a suffocation hazard, keep this bag out of the reach of babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, strollers, or playpens. This bag is not a toy.

(Video) Small Parts Regulations & Warnings in the United States

Amazon requires that notice:

  • It should be placed in a prominent place in the bag.
  • Must be in readable font size

The minimum print size of the suffocation warning depends on the dimensions of the bag, like so:

  • 10 points: the length and width of the bag add up to less than 29 inches
  • 14 stitches: total length and width of the bag 30 to 39 inches
  • 18 stitches: total length and width of the bag 40 to 49 inches
  • 24 points: total length and width of bag 60 inches or more

You can visit Amazon Seller Central toknow but.

Purse Choking Hazard Warning: US State and Amazon Seller Requirements (2)

Are suffocation warning labels required for all products sold in the United States?

According to our research, California, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Rhode Island only require certain types of plastic bags to display suffocation warnings.

Therefore, this requirement does not cover all products sold in the United States.

What products require a suffocation warning label on the bag?

The products that require a choke tag in each state may differ. This includes plastic bags that are:

The. Used to pack and deliver products to customers (California)

B. Use in the home or domestic environment (New York; Massachusetts)

w. Used for products intended for home or household use (New York; Massachusetts)

d. Designed to encourage children to use these bags as toys (New York; Massachusetts)

It is. Used to store freshly washed clothes (Virginia)

F. Intended for household use as well as for packaging products intended for household use (Rhode Island)

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What products are exempt?

These are some examples that we can find:

1. California regulations do not apply to plastic bags intended "exclusively" for industrial use.

2. Rhode Island regulations cover plastic bags "except" those used for food products weighing no more than 5 pounds.

According to our findings, New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia's plastic bag regulations do not exempt any plastic bags.

What can happen if no bag suffocation warning is printed?

All of the US states listed above except New York mention what kind of repercussions violators may face.


California regulation states that "any violation of this chapter is a misdemeanor."

In accordance withCalifornia Superior Court in San Diego County, a misdemeanor is a crime that can result in the following:

  • A maximum prison term in the country not to exceed one year.
  • A maximum fine of USD 1000
  • A trial period of 3 to 5 years


Massachusetts punishes violators with:

El. A maximum fine of USD 100 for the first offense

B. A maximum fine of $500 for “any subsequent violation”


(Video) 13074SuffocationWarningLabelsForRetailPlasticBags

Under Virginia regulation, offenders are "guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor."

Chapter 1, Article 3, Section § 18.2-11 of the Code of Virginia provides that offenders convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor are punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

Rhode Island

Under Rhode Island regulation, convicted offenders are subject to a maximum fine of $100.

Can I trust my manufacturer to print the correct warning label?

It is reasonable to expect a US based manufacturer to follow the suffocation warning labeling requirements on bags. However, making such assumptions when importing products from China, Vietnam, or other countries can be disastrous.

Most manufacturers outside of the United States are not aware of the bag suffocation warning labeling requirements. Factories rely on their customers to provide ready-to-use print files as part of the product specification.

This is also a huge risk for dropshippers selling products in the United States. Merchants on Aliexpress.com and other sites used by dropshippers rarely (if ever) have the US bag suffocation warning labels printed on plastic bags. Remember that US bag suffocation warning labels are not required in China.

This can cause significant problems for US dropshippers, who can be held liable for non-compliant products that they promote and sell in the country.

How can I make sure my provider prints the bag suffocation warning?

You must provide a "design for compliance" print file to your supplier. Please note that you should also consider the following when creating your file:

  • Warning label text
  • print size
  • Repeated warning prints
  • Print position (for example, both sides, repeated ads)
  • File format (.ai or .eps)

It's about being hyperspecific. You only get what you specify and leaving anything for your provider to decide is a gamble. Still, many importers and Amazon sellers believe that the "supplier must know" and therefore do not provide clear printing instructions.

Your polythene bags should also be checked during quality inspection. This is especially important if your products are shipped directly from the factory to an Amazon FBA warehouse.

What file format should I use?

Most providers use .ai and .eps files. I also recommend that you ask your provider to create a sample printed bag to verify that they understand your instructions.


What size bag requires suffocation warning? ›

Plastic bags with the thickness of less than one mil (1/1000in) have an opening size of 5 inches or more are required to carry suffocation warning label.

What size is FBA suffocation warning label? ›

Dimension: 2.4 x 1 inch (60 x 25 mm)

Text in 10 point size. Meets Amazon's FBA requirements for bags with openings <29 inches.

Do I need suffocation warning? ›

While each state has its specific requirements, the standard rule of thumb is that suffocation warnings are required on bags one mil or less in thickness and have an opening of 5 inches or more. Warnings are not usually required on outer packaging (such as your poly mailer) because they are thicker than one mil.

What is the thickness requirements for poly bag? ›

Complete answer:100 Microns is the thickness of plastic cover permissible for use. The minimum thickness of plastic bags has been increased from 40 microns to 50 microns as the bags have more strength so that they are more durable and so can be reused.

Do US state plastic bags have suffocation warnings? ›

In the United States, five states (Massachusetts, California, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia) and two major cities (New York City and Chicago) currently have legislation in place regarding suffocation warnings on poly bags.

Do plastic bags have to have a suffocation warning? ›

In the US, there are no federal laws which require warning labels on plastic bags. However, in order to help prevent child suffocations, some states and a few municipalities have enacted their own legislation with regards to suffocation warning labels for plastic bags.

What size labels does Amazon require? ›

Amazon barcodes must be printed with black ink on matte white removable labels. The labels must measure between 1″ x 2″ and 2″ x 3″ (for example 1″ x 3″ or 2″ x 2″). Amazon recommends Avery 1″ x 2-5/8″ labels that are available by the sheet online and using a laser printer.

What size do Amazon FBA labels need to be? ›

Amazon requires that all labels are printed in black and white. A removable adhesive must also be used, and the labels must be non-reflective. As well, the general size of labels must be between 1 by 2 inches, and 2 by 3 inches for more prominent labels.

Do warning labels have to be a certain size? ›

The warning must be in a type size no smaller than the largest type size used for other consumer information on the product and in no case in a type size smaller than 6-point type.

Are warning labels necessary? ›

Safety labels provide critical information to employees using hazardous materials and equipment, ensuring they can take proper precautions to prevent injuries. They also make workers aware of the potential consequences of using a product in a way that isn't in line with the manufacturer's instructions.

Are plastic bags a choking hazard? ›

Plastic bags, dry cleaning bags and plastic wrap are especially dangerous for young children. A child can easily suffocate if these items are pulled over their head. Always tie a knot in dry cleaning and plastic bags before throwing them out. Plastic bags should be stored out of reach.

What is a suffocation label? ›

If you've ever received a package in the mail from a retailer such as Old Navy, Target, or Amazon, chances are you've seen a warning suffocation label. These labels are designed to warn parents and caregivers, as well as pet parents, of the dangers associated with plastic bags.

What can we use instead of poly bags? ›

Plastic bag alternatives: Comparing the environmental impact of plastic material substitutes
  • Paper bags. Paper bags are 100% biodegradable meaning they can be used for composting. ...
  • Cotton bags. ...
  • Jute bags. ...
  • Polypropylene. ...
  • Hemp. ...
  • Nylon. ...
  • Polyester. ...
  • Compostable bags.
Oct 27, 2022

What is the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags as per Rule 2022? ›

The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, also prohibit manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having thickness less than seventy five microns with effect from 30th September, 2021, and having thickness less than thickness of one hundred and twenty microns with effect ...

What should we use instead of poly bags? ›

Plastic Bag Alternatives
  • Paper (Recycled)
  • Reusable Plastic.
  • Cotton.
  • Non-woven polypropylene (PP)
  • Compostable.
  • Woven Polypropylene (PP) Bags.
  • Jute.
Sep 18, 2019

Which U.S. states ban plastic bags? ›

However, the states of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii (de facto), Maine, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have banned disposable bags.

How many states have the no bag law? ›

Bans and Fees

Eight states—California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont—have banned single-use plastic bags.

Are Ziploc bags FDA approved? ›

All Ziploc® brand Containers and microwavable Ziploc® brand Bags meet the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with defrosting and reheating food in microwave ovens, as well as room, refrigerator and freezer temperatures.

What are the new rules for plastic bags? ›

Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2021

As per the amended rules, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of single use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited from July 1, 2022.

Do you have to keep this bag warning to avoid danger of suffocation? ›

To avoid danger of suffocation, keep bag away from babies and children. Do not use bag in cribs, beds, carriages or playpens."? In the U.S., there are no federal legal requirements for "child suffocation" warnings on plastic bags.

Why is plastic bags considered as an environmental hazard? ›

The major impact of plastic bags on the environment is that it takes many years to for them to decompose. In addition, toxic substances are released into the soil when plastic bags perish under sunlight and, if plastic bags are burned, they release a toxic substance into the air causing ambient air pollution.

Can you breathe into a plastic bag when hyperventilating? ›

Do not use a plastic bag. Do not breathe continuously into a paper bag. Take 6 to 12 natural breaths, with a paper bag held over your mouth and nose, then remove the bag from your nose and mouth. Do not hold the bag for the person who is hyperventilating.

What is the capacity of a bag for life? ›

Product for the refillable Bag For Life bags comes in a Maxi Bale. Each Maxi Bale contains 2500 litres, is spun-wrapped, labelled, and delivered on a recycled and recyclable one-way-trip pallet.

What is the wording on suffocation warning label? ›

"WARNING: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, carriages or play pens."

What happens if you breathe in and out of a bag? ›

Why does breathing into a paper bag help? Breathing into a paper bag is a technique that can help you regulate hyperventilation. It works by putting some of the lost carbon dioxide back into your lungs and body. This helps to balance oxygen flow in your body.


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