Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

USA : New Edition of ASTM F963 Toy Safety Standard Published Today


180-day Clock Starts for Transition to New Edition under the CPSIA

New York, NY | February 17, 2009 – A new edition of the Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, ASTM F963-2008, has been published today by ASTM International.   This widely used toy safety standard includes guidelines and test methods to protect children from a wide range of potential hazards, including lead exposure, choking, and sharp edges.  Changes included in the new edition include new safety guidelines for magnetic components in toys and a number of other potential hazards.

Already widely used by the industry, under the terms of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) F963 became a federally mandated safety specification on February 10, 2009.   

Under the law, the 2007 edition of the standard is still mandatory.  In a letter sent today to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, ASTM International – the standard developing organization responsible for ongoing maintenance of the specification – informed the agency of the new edition.  

If the CPSC agrees that the revisions improve safety, there will be a six month window before the new standard goes into effect under the law. 

“This will give industry an opportunity to become familiar with updates from the previous edition,” explained Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of safety standards and regulatory affairs.

According to ASTM, enhancements and additions now approved for F963 include the following:

  • Magnets — (enhancement) Revisions account for incidents of ingestion due to magnetic components that were small parts of a toy and to reflect the age of children involved in the incidents. The section on magnets now also includes special use and abuse requirements to avoid magnets from detaching from components during play.

  • Acoustics — (enhancement) Requirements to this section were changed to provide greater clarity. The revisions to this section also further harmonization between F963 and the European toy standard, EN71-1.

  • Yo-Yo Tether Toys — (addition) Requirements have been added to address potential strangulation hazards associated with yo-yo elastic tether toys intended for children three years of age or older. 

  • Impaction hazards — (enhancement) A new section providing impaction hazard requirements for toys intended for children up to the age of 48 months has been added. Diagrams of spherical and hemispherical ends were also added. 

  • Flammability — (enhancement) Revision establishes the protocol and general criteria for flammability testing of solids and soft toys in conformance with the requirements of 16CFR 1500.3(c)(6)(vi).

Other revised areas of the standard include sections on jaw entrapment; packaging film/age requirements as they pertain to use and abuse testing; and folding mechanisms and hinges.

The standard does not affect the limits for lead or phthalates as described in the CPSIA.

“Congressional recognition of ASTM 963 signifies the thoroughness of the standard and the role of ASTM in toy safety,” said Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of safety standards and regulatory affairs.  “TIA is pleased to introduce this updated version of the standard to our constituents and encourage all companies in the toy industry – manufacturers and retailers – to get involved in the standards process.”

ASTM F963 is maintained by ASTM International Committee F15, Consumer Products and its Subcommittee on Toy Safety.  The subcommittee is comprised of technical experts from academia, consumer groups, industry and government who work together to review and update the standard on a regular basis; it is chaired by Joan Lawrence. 

Copies of the standard are available in electronic format or hard copy from ASTM International.

About TIA
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing over 500 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales.  Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe play.  

No comments: