U.S. standards organization, ASTM International, has announced a significant revision to ASTM F963, the mandatory toy safety standard under U.S. Law.
Among several changes are clarifications to requirements related to heavy elements in the substrate of toys, and a new alternate test method for total element content screening.
If accepted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ASTM F963-16, the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, will replace the existing ASTM F963-11 as the US’s mandatory toy safety standard under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
Among other requirements, the CPSIA includes solubility limits in children’s products for several heavy metals: antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and selenium.
Changes to the heavy elements parts of the new standard include:
clarifications on heavy metal requirements in stickers and printed textiles;
further details on when a metal extraction test is not required for metal components; and
an allowance for an alternative test method, HDXRF, for the screening of homogenous polymeric substrates.
According to the testing laboratory Intertek, there are significant revisions to strengthen toy safety, while harmonizing, where feasible, with international and European toy safety standards: ISO 8124-1 and EN 71-1, respectively.
Len Morrissey, director of technical committee operations at ASTM, says that the standards body intends to send these formally to the Commission “shortly.”
Once notified, the CPSC will have 90 days to reject some or all of the revisions if they are deemed to lessen the level of safety if enacted, says Mr. Morrisey.
If there is no objection within the time span, the new version of the standard becomes the mandatory rule, 180 days after its receipt by the Commission.