Toy Association Participates in International Talks About Toy Safety

November 9, 2021 | Toy Association staff attended virtual meetings over the past two weeks that brought together consumer product safety professionals to help align global toy safety standards and identify areas for improvement.

ICPHSO 2021 International Symposium

The Association’s Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs attended the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) 2021 International Symposium on October 27 and 28, which addressed international perspectives on the future of consumer product safety. Highlights included sessions on standards, regulations, and international requirements for regions including Europe, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others, as well as remarks from the newly confirmed U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric.

In his remarks, the CPSC chairman touched on topics that he plans to focus on in his new role including e-commerce, supply chains, international cooperation, and artificial intelligence. He discussed how the pandemic’s impact on online shopping and direct-to-consumer sales have created challenges in deciding what imports to inspect and the potential safety hazards with turning to alternative suppliers amid the ongoing supply chain crisis. For these issues, he also stressed the importance of working in collaboration with the CPSC’s international counterparts, stating that “strong international cooperation and stakeholder engagement” was the key to strong consumer product safety. Hoehn-Saric added that consumers have a right to expect that products sold online are just as safe as the ones they buy down the street.

ICPHSO will hold its Annual Meeting and Training Symposium on February 14 to 17, 2022 in National Harbor, MD.

ISO Technical Committee 181 on Toy Safety

Lawrence & Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs at The Toy Association, along with representatives from Toy Association member companies, participated in virtual meetings for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 181 on Toy Safety (responsible for the ISO 8124 toy standard) held October 25 through November 5.

Kaufman served as head of a U.S. delegation (Lawrence served as a member) representing the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Toy Safety on behalf of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI, the U.S. member of ISO) and helped present the U.S. perspective on discussions throughout the week alongside representatives from government, industry, testing labs, and consumer groups from 11 ISO member countries.

Discussion topics included the migration of certain elements such as boron limits for slimes and putties (Kaufman is a co-project leader for this revision), mechanical and physical properties of toys, age determination guidelines (including the recently revised CPSC Age Determination Guidelines), and flammability, among others. Kaufman was convenor of a working group meeting on microbiological safety that resolved more than 120 comments received on the committee draft and agreed to incorporate those changes into a new draft for balloting as a Draft International Standard. The two weeks of working group meetings concluded with a full technical committee meeting to vote on resolutions for further work with all resolutions approved.

“Participating in these meetings is an essential part of our work in advocating for change, enhancement, and consistency of safety practices (aligned with the rigorous U.S. safety requirements) for products sold and manufactured across global markets,” said Lawrence. “We are pleased with the outcome of these meetings which, as the ICPHSO theme highlighted this year, will ultimately help ensure safer products for children everywhere.”

Toy Association members will continue to be kept apprised of ongoing updates to toy safety standards.