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July/August 2010

Not Playing Around

Keeping children safe is one of society’s highest priorities. When the U.S. Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, much of it targeted at toy safety, ASTM International F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, which incorporates safety requirements already mandated by law, was a key element. In fact, as of 2009, all toys in the United States must meet the safety requirements of F963.

Committee F15, which formulated F963, includes representatives from academia, industry, government and consumers. The committee regularly reviews and updates F963 to make sure its provisions are up-to-date and adequate for emerging hazards. Among its many provisions, F963 includes guidelines and test methods to prevent injuries from choking, sharp edges and other potential hazards; sections on the ingestion of magnetic components; acoustics; yo-yo tether toys; impaction hazards and flammability.

In short, it is a comprehensive but evolving standard that provides safety to children, confidence to consumers and clear, workable guidelines for industry.

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