Toy Association Comments on CPSC’s Proposed Battery Safety Rulemaking

March 14, 2023 | The Toy Association provided comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Reese’s Law, the button and coin cell battery safety bill which was signed into law by President Biden in August 2022.

Reese’s Law takes on an important role in safeguarding children and other consumers against hazards associated with the accidental ingestion of button cell or coin batteries where protective standards are not already present. The law instructs the CPSC to develop performance requirements and warnings for consumer product that use button and coin cell batteries, as well as packaging requirements and warnings for the button and coin cell batteries themselves. Congress included a specific exemption for products that fall under the scope of the mandatory ASTM F963 toy standard.

The Toy Association, a supporter of the bill throughout its passage, has been dedicated to seeing the protections provided by ASTM F963, the gold standard for battery safety in toys, applied to other non-toy household items.

“The passage of Reese’s Law is an important step toward further protecting consumers from the dangers associated with button and coin cell batteries,” said Jos Huxley, senior vice president of technical affairs at The Toy Association. “With the release of the CPSC’s NPR and associated briefing package, it became clear that while Congress recognizes the effectiveness of the toy standard and explicitly exempts toy products that fall under the scope of this standard, the CPSC's proposed rulemaking misrepresents ASTM F963’s effectiveness and The Toy Association felt obligated to respond to those inaccuracies and assertions.”

The Toy Association’s comments seek to address these concerns, including those relating to the incident data used as a basis for the NPR as well as on the cost and timeline estimations made by the CPSC.

Reese’s Law, named in honor of 18-month-old Reese Hamsmith who passed away in December 2020 after swallowing a button battery, will require child-resistant closures be applied to a range of battery-operated consumer products beyond toys that utilize button or coin cells. Button and coin cell batteries sold separately must also comply with federal child-resistant packaging rules.

The Toy Association’s official statement on button cell batteries can be found here. Additional questions and comments may be directed to The Toy Association’s Jos Huxley, senior vice president of technical affairs, and Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards & regulatory affairs.