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March/April 2009

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ASTM Toy Safety Standard Required by Federal Law

capitol buildingCPSIA Legislation Took Effect Feb. 10

Under new federal legislation that took effect Feb. 10, all toys sold in the United States must meet the safety requirements of ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety.

This new measure for protecting children from unsafe toys, which won strong bipartisan approval in the U.S. Congress after nearly a year of hearings and debate, is part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The law makes the ASTM F963 standard a mandatory requirement for toys while the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission studies the standard’s effectiveness and issues final consumer guidelines for toy safety.

ASTM F963 incorporates relevant safety measures already required under federal law and includes additional guidelines and test methods to prevent injuries from choking, sharp edges and other potential hazards. ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products — which includes a dedicated group of technical experts from academia, consumer groups, industry and government — regularly reviews and updates F963 to ensure that its technical guidance is up to date. By mandating the requirements in the ASTM standard for all toys sold in the U.S., Congress has recognized the value of this collaborative safety standard.

“When powerful magnets emerged as a new toy safety hazard, technical experts from ASTM Committee F15 recognized the seriousness of the issue and quickly worked to update the F963 toy safety standard,” said Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who championed the toy safety standard requirements included in the new CPSIA. “This standard also provides an open, collaborative process to address changing conditions needed to ensure the safety of toys and children’s products.”

In addition to federalizing the ASTM toy safety standard, the CPSIA includes additional requirements for toys as well as other children’s products and sets strict limits on lead and phthalates. For more information about the CPSIA and compliance with this new law, click here.

Dudley Medal Nominees Sought

The ASTM Committee on Publications is soliciting candidate publications from ASTM committees for the Charles B. Dudley Medal Award. Each committee may submit one publication for consideration.

The award honors an outstanding contribution that has a widely recognized impact on a particular field of ASTM interest and has been documented in ASTM literature. A minimum of three years must have elapsed between the date of publication of a nominee and the nomination deadline of April 15.

  • Eligible candidate publications may be:
  • An individual paper or group of papers;
  • A Special Technical Publication;
  • A Data Series publication;
  • An atomic and molecular data publication; or
  • A manual, monograph, handbook or computer software program.

Submittals should be made on or before April 15, and must contain the following information:

  • Name of the candidate publication;
  • Name of the author(s), editor or contributor to the candidate publication;
  • Statement of 300 words or less stating why the candidate publication should receive the award and how the publication meets the basis of the award;
  • Name and designation of the submitting committee (no more than one nomination from a committee shall be submitted); and
  • Name and address of the individual acting on behalf of the committee.

Submit nominations to Kathy Dernoga, Committee on Publications, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959.

collaboration with BSN

Shown from left to right: James Olshefsky, ASTM; Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM; Mrs. Nurasih Suwahyono, BSN; Mrs. Dewi Odjar Ratna Komala, BSN; Jessica Hychalk, ASTM; and John Pace, ASTM.


Indonesian Standards Officials Meet with ASTM Staff

Business agreement between ASTM, BSN renewed

ASTM International recently hosted Mrs. Dewi Odjar Ratna Komala, deputy of information and promotion of standardization, and Mrs. Nurasih Suwahyono, head of the Center of Standardization, Information and Documentation, of Badan Standardisasi Nasional, the national standards body of Indonesia.

During the meeting, staff from ASTM International’s Global Cooperation and Publications and Marketing divisions spoke with the BSN representatives about the objectives and outreach components of the memorandum of understanding program, the accomplishments of the MOU signed with BSN in 2004, and ASTM’s electronic tools and opportunities for virtual training, academic outreach and membership promotion.

signing the agreement

Mrs. Dewi Odjar Ratna Komala(left), deputy of information and promotion of standardization, BSN, and John Pace (right), vice president of Publications and Marketing, ASTM, renew the BSN/ASTM business agreement.

Komala and Suwahyono reviewed the structure, mission, services and initiatives of BSN. Discussion also focused on future collaborative efforts between ASTM and BSN.

Finally, the meeting presented an opportunity for ASTM and BSN to renew their business agreement, which was signed by Komala and John Pace, ASTM vice president of Publications and Marketing.

ASTM Hosts Shanghai FDA Delegation

Activities of ASTM Committees E55 and F04 discussed

Working through the Forte International Exchange Association, a nonprofit organization specializing in the international exchange of ideas and personnel, ASTM International recently hosted 20 employees of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration at its headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. As part of its efforts to improve drug safety, the Shanghai FDA delegation spent two weeks in the United States receiving training on drug, cosmetic, dietary and device standards development.

ASTM hosts Shanghai FDA delegation

ASTM staff and members pose with the Shanghai FDA delegation during meetings at ASTM International headquarters.

ASTM staff provided information on the work of ASTM Committees E55 on Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products and F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices. Donald Marlowe, former chairman of ASTM’s board of directors and standards administrator for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also participated to discuss the extensive use of ASTM standards by the U.S. FDA.

The visit offered another opportunity to enhance the cooperation that has existed between ASTM and various Chinese organizations since the early 1990s. A memorandum of understanding has been in place between ASTM and the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China since 2004.

ASTM also has cooperative agreements with the Shanghai Institute of Standardization in Shanghai and the China National Institute of Standards in Beijing.

Board Nominations

The ASTM Nominating Committee, appointed annually by the ASTM board of directors, welcomes suggestions from the ASTM membership for candidates for the following positions on the 2010 board of directors:

  • Chairman (one-year term);
  • Vice chairman (two-year term); and
  • Six directors (three-year terms).

Complete biographical information, including candidate’s name, title, business address and education as well as the candidate’s professional experience, affiliations, honors and awards should be sent to: ASTM Nominating Committee, Attn: Maureen Houck, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428. Nominations must be received by April 1.

Please contact Maureen Houck if you need further information (phone: 610-832-9594).