In the United States, safety standards for products, systems, services, and materials can be created by the government or by private organizations called Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) as voluntary consensus standards (VCS) . ASTM International, a voluntary consensus SDO, develops standards for a variety of consumer products such as baby products, playground and sports equipment, amusement rides, toys and much more. Industries can chose to adopt VCS to use within their manufacturing processes, during procurement, and in service provision, for example. VCS can also become mandatory when written into law, regulations, or codes in the U.S. and abroad. A VCS may be used as the basis for a mandatory standard regulated by a government.
In fact, in 2008, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) set mandatory requirements for durable infant and toddler products, including cribs, based on the voluntary standards developed by ASTM International. Many of these standards touch the products used in and around the home for infants and toddlers.
While ASTM International publishes standards, it is the responsibility of various state, federal and international agencies to regulate products and services in the marketplace. Regulatory actions such as product safety recalls, denial of products at ports of entry, and compliance to safety standards are solely government functions. Here are some examples of regulatory bodies that have jurisdiction over the products you may use for personal use:
To report an unsafe product, check with the appropriate regulating agencies on how best to report it. Some agencies provide online forms to report this information. For example, in the U.S., the public can report unsafe products at http://www.saferproducts.gov/.
ASTM standards writing committees, called technical committees and subcommittees, develop standards for over 90 different industry sectors, many for products that are used for personal use every day. To learn more about the standards covering consumer-focused products and services and to get involved, check out them out below:
For a full listing of ASTM Technical Committees, visit https://www.astm.org/get-involved/technical-committees/committee-all.