CPSC Staff Endorses ASTM F963-11 Heavy Element Limits, Declaring them to be “Sufficiently Protective of Children’s Health” 

March 27, 2012 | In a recent briefing report that reviewed the effectiveness of heavy element limits contained in the ASTM F963 toy safety standard, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff concluded that the acceptable daily intake (ADI) and migration limits for the seven heavy elements studied protect children and do not merit adjustment.

The effectiveness assessment, required by law under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), studied antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, mercury and selenium. (Lead was not included as it has a mandatory CPSIA limit).

While the dietary approach used to determine ADI and derive migration limits for ASTM F963 (and the EU standard EN71-3, with which it is aligned) differs from the risk-based approach that the CPSC typically employs, CPSC staff concluded that the limits in ASTM F963 “generally provide a lower [more protective] limit compared to the intake limits that resulted from the ADIs derived by CPSC staff (…) using the risk-based approach.”

While staffers recommended against seeking changes to that area of the ASTM standard, they suggested continued monitoring of both the ASTM F963 and EN71-3 toy standards.

In February, CPSC Commissioners unanimously approved changes to ASTM F963-11, including the revised heavy element requirements.  At the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) Annual Symposium last month, CPSC Chair Inez Tenenbaum acknowledged the work of the ASTM Subcommittee on Toy Safety related to these revised heavy metal requirements in her keynote address.

The full CPSC briefing package on heavy elements can be read online.