Toy Industry Association (TIA) Statement on the Standards for Restricting Cadmium in Toys

October 21, 2010

In January 2010, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) launched a proactive initiative to update the federally mandated ASTM F963 toy safety standard to cover soluble heavy metals in toy substrate material.  TIA’s enhancement of the existing restrictions will better align the U.S. national standard with requirements in Europe and elsewhere. 

ASTM F963 has long restricted cadmium and heavy metals in the accessible surfaces of toys.  While there have been reported issues regarding the presence of cadmium in children’s jewelry products, the effectiveness of F963’s longstanding restrictions is demonstrated by the fact that no issues in toys have been identified. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been kept apprised of TIA’s progress via a formal presentation on April 26, 2010, and periodic updates throughout the year.

On October 19, 2010, the CPSC released the findings of testing they have done on children’s metal jewelry indicating that those products – given the materials with which they are made, their size and usage – may call for a different test procedure and duration than those used in toys.  

The ASTM toy safety committee – which is comprised of representatives of the toy industry, government, consumer groups and medical professionals — will consider the CPSC report to determine its applicability for toys. 

TIA will also consider the Commission’s data and recommended test methods as it finalizes its proposal to ASTM for revision of the heavy metals requirements.   The TIA proposal is expected to be discussed at the ASTM toy safety committee meeting in November. Formal consideration by the multi-stakeholder committee will be in accordance with the procedures of both ASTM International and American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 

As a mandatory consumer product safety rule, and under the terms of the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), any revision of the ASTM F963 standard, once approved by ASTM, must also be reviewed by CPSC staff to confirm the updates improve safety.  Upon CPSC endorsement there will be a six-month window before the new standard goes into effect as law.