As of this week, a globally-respected standard updated by hundreds of leading experts in and advocates for toy safety goes into effect in the United States. The standard was revised through ASTM International, one of the world’s largest standards organizations, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission approved the revised standard, making it mandatory.
“We identified parts of the 2011 standard that needed clarification, updating, or alignment,” said Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs at the Toy Association, Inc., and chair of the subcommittee on toy safety (F15.22). “We also looked at potential emerging safety issues, new product features, and new ways that toys are being used that may pose a risk to children.”
The 2016 update includes:
• new requirements to the already extensive section on battery safety;
• soaking and compression tests for magnets;
• changes to requirements for toys involving projectiles;
• new requirements for materials and toys that could expand if accidentally swallowed;
• new requirements and clarifications related to microbiological safety;
• clarifications to requirements related to heavy elements in the substrate materials of toys and the addition of an optional, alternate test method for total screen testing;
• a new curb impact requirement, a clarification of overload and stability requirements, and a strap exemption for ride-on toys;
• clarification of requirements and supplemental guidance for impact hazards; and more.
Manufacturers, importers, and retailers use the standard to design and sell products that comply with laws such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Regulatory bodies and testing laboratories use the standard for toy certification and other purposes.
Further information can be found in this fact sheet and this magazine article.
The “Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety” (F963-16) is available for purchase, and it is also viewable online at no cost in the ASTM International Reading Room (license agreement and registration required).
Additional clarifications to the standard are in process and will be issued in upcoming versions. Get involved by joining ASTM International (www.astm.org/JOIN) and stay up-to-date with the Standards Tracker tool.
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May 1, 2017