ASTM International Updates World-Renowned Toy Safety Standard
TIA Members Eligible to Receive Complimentary Copy of ASTM F963-16
The following article contains excerpts from a press release published by ASTM International on October 20, 2016.
October 20, 2016 | ASTM International announced today a major revision to one of the world’s most respected and widely used toy safety standards – ASTM F963 – to be published as F963-16: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will purchase the revised standard and offer one complimentary copy to each TIA member company upon request. Additional copies will be available for purchase at www.ASTM.org.
“Widely recognized as a ‘gold standard’ for children’s products, ASTM F963 is continually reviewed by leading toy safety experts and advocates to improve the standard’s clarity and help companies with compliance,” said Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs at TIA and chair of the ASTM F15.22 Subcommittee on Toy Safety. “The 2016 edition of the standard is a compilation of the subcommittee’s efforts over the past five years to identify existing parts of the 2011 standard that needed revising. We explored potential emerging safety issues, new product features and new ways that toys are being used that may pose a risk to children.”
The 2016 edition includes the following changes, among others:
- new requirements to the already-extensive section on battery safety;
- soaking and compression tests for magnets;
- changes to requirements for toys involving projectiles;
- new requirements for materials and toys that could expand if swallowed;
- new requirements and clarifications related to microbiological safety;
- clarifications to requirements related to heavy elements in the substrate materials of toys and the addition of an optional, alternate test method for total screen testing;
- a new curb impact requirement, a clarification of overload and stability requirements, and a strap exemption for ride-on toys;
- a reinstatement of requirements for toy chests (moved from ASTM F834, which is being retired); and,
- clarification of requirements and supplemental guidance for impaction hazards.
“The fact that most of the changes are subtle enhancements is evidence of the commitment and expertise of the subcommittee and the continued relevance and protectiveness of this well-regarded standard,” added Lawrence.
Manufacturers, importers and retailers use the standard to design and sell products that comply with laws such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which mandates that all toys sold in the U.S., regardless of where they are made, comply with F963.
Regulatory bodies and testing laboratories also use the standard. Labs use the requirements and test methods within the standard to check for compliance and to support certification, as required under CPSIA.
F963 was created in 1986 by the ASTM International Committee on Consumer Products (F15) and is the modern edition of the world’s first comprehensive toy safety standard, created in 1976. According to Lawrence, the F15.22 Subcommittee on Toy Safety recognizes the importance of its role in protecting children and continually looks to ensure that the standard supports safety and reflects the latest information on risk.
Further information on F963 can be found here. TIA will host a webinar on Wednesday, October 26 to outline some of the key changes contained within the updated standard; registration for the session is free for TIA members and may be completed online.
ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards at www.astm.org/JOIN.