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Toy Industry Set to Deliver Report on Safety Conformance Program

New York, Dec 21, 2007

The U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA), in conjunction with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and a working group of safety experts and industry, government, and consumer leaders, announced today that a new safety assurance program for toys will be published for public review and comment on February 1, 2008.

Developed in response to toy safety concerns raised during the summer of 2007, the new program prescribes procedures and provides audit mechanisms for design hazard analysis, manufacturing process controls, and in-plant testing.

“We are developing a system that will help to assure that products entering the U.S. market meet this nation’s rigorous toy safety requirements – whether those requirements are defined in standards or regulations,” explained Carter Keithley, TIA president.

The initiative was launched immediately following an August 28, 2007, vote by the TIA Board of Directors to endorse a three-point plan that would reinforce toy testing and inspection systems. TIA commissioned ANSI, coordinator of U.S. voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment activities, to chair the initiative. [see related article]

Toy manufacturers and retailers, safety experts, consumer advocates, and government authorities have been involved in the program’s development.

“This will be a robust system that provides solid, practical assurances of safety in a complex and multi-faceted industry,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services and chair of the working group. “From producer to government regulator to retailer to parent – everyone will have a role to play.”

Early predictions pointed to the availability of a draft for public comment by December 31, 2007. The working group recently agreed to defer publication of the draft for an additional month to allow more time for the development of detailed programmatic components, including the proposed administration of the program.

“Producing a detailed and complex program like this one in barely four months was a very ambitious schedule,” said one working group participant. “The additional month gives us the time we need to confirm that we are recommending a program that will take the industry to a new level of toy safety assurance.”

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