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Revised Standard for Toy Safety Addresses Magnets, Flammability, Other Hazards

New York, Mar 05, 2009

A revised version of the toy safety standard mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 is now available. Developed by ASTM International, a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the standard addresses new safety guidelines for magnetic components in toys, as well as a number of other potential hazards.

ASTM F963-2008, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, is the most recent version of a widely used specification that provides guidelines and test methods to protect children from a broad range of potential hazards, including lead exposure, choking, and sharp edges. According to ASTM, changes in the revised guidelines include:

  • Magnets: Revisions were made to account for incidents of swallowing small (potentially detachable) magnets in toys and to increase the visibility of age grading on toy packaging.

  • Acoustics: Revisions were made to provide greater clarity and to align with the stringent European toy standard for acoustics.

  • Yo-yo tether toys: Revisions were made to address potential strangulation hazards associated with yo-yo elastic tether toys intended for children three years of age or older.

  • Impaction hazards: A new section providing impaction hazard requirements for toys intended for children up to the age of 48 months has been added.

  • Flammability: A revision was made to increase flammability testing so that toys meet federal standards.

A prior version of the standard, ASTM F963-2007, was included in the CPSIA signed into law by former President Bush in August 2008. It is now considered a mandatory consumer product safety standard of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after becoming effective on February 10, 2009. [see related article]

ASTM has informed the CPSC of the new version of the standard. If the CPSC agrees that the revisions improve safety, the new version will become mandatory after a six month period.

For more information on ASTM F963-2008, see the ASTM news release.

ANSI is committed to improving toy safety through standards and conformity assessment-based solutions. In September of 2008, ANSI and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in support of the accreditation program of TIA’s Toy Safety Certification Program (TSCP). For more information, see this related ANSI Online news item.

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