ASTM Subcommittee Receives CPSC Award for Toy Safety Standard

For its significant, lifesaving contributions to consumer product safety, ASTM Subcommittee F15.22 on Toy Safety is among five recipients of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2013 Chairman’s Circle of Commendation Award. The award was presented to members of the subcommittee at a ceremony at CPSC headquarters in Bethesda, Md., on Sept. 25.

Subcommittee F15.22, which is part of ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products, was awarded the commendation for its development and ongoing maintenance of ASTM standard F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. The standard, first published in 1986 and frequently revised since then to stay current, establishes nationally recognized safety requirements for toys intended for use by children under 14 years of age. In 2008, Congress cited F963 in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act by requiring that all toys sold in the United States conform to the requirements of the standard.

ASTM F963 is a living document; members of Subcommittee F963 monitor injury reports and work closely with CPSC and other key industry organizations and stakeholders to identify potential new hazards and issue revisions to the standard when necessary.

Toys covered by F963 include balloons, stuffed and beanbag-type toys, marbles, battery-operated toys, projectile toys and many other types. More than 20 test methods included in the standard provide procedures for determining hazardous substance content, the stability of ride-on toys, cleanliness and preservative effectiveness, noise levels and more. Hazards addressed by the standard include the presence of heavy metals, ingestion of magnetic components, lead content, flammability, choking risk and others.

The Chairman’s Circle of Commendation Award identifies and honors people, organizations, businesses, state and local governments and other groups who have worked to reduce deaths, prevent injuries and improve consumer product safety.

As Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of CPSC, noted regarding the award winners in a press release marking the award presentation, “Their research, advocacy and commitment to advancing the cause of consumer protection have resulted in safer homes, both nationally and internationally. The lives they have saved are untold.”

Shown from left to right: Autumn Moore, Toy Industry Association; Rick Rosati, Bureau Veritas and F15 vice chairman; Nancy MacPherson, Lego; Frank Olbrych, Hasbro; Inez Tenenbaum, CPSC chair; Joan Lawrence, TIA and F15.22 chair; Don Mays, Deloitte, ASTM director and F15 vice chair; Leonard Morrissey, ASTM International; Joel Taft, Fisher Price.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.