U.S. – ASTM Publishes Revised Toy Safety Standard – F963-16
Vol. 933 | October 21, 2016
On October 20, 2016, ASTM International published revised toy safety standard F963-16 as part of its ongoing effort to monitor and proactively address concerns pertaining to toy safety. The update was five years in the making and includes significant revisions to strengthen the safety of toys while harmonizing, where feasible, with the International and European toy safety standards ISO 8124-1 and EN 71-1 respectively.
In accordance with section 106(g) of Public Law 110-314, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), once ASTM International notifies the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Commission has up to 90 days to review and respond to the revisions, and accept or reject revisions in part or whole. If the CPSC does not respond within 90 days or accept the revisions, the revised standard (F963-16) will become a mandatory toy safety standard effective 180 days after notification. The requirements are prospective, so the certification (Children’s Product Certificate) of toys manufactured on and after the effective date, 180 days from notification date, will be required to be based on the F963-16 testing at a CPSC-approved laboratory.
Following is a summary of significant revisions:
- Expanding material – requirements were added for a toy that is or has a component that is a small part and expands in water.
- Magnet requirements – these revisions bring the ASTM standard in closer alignment with the EN 71-1 and ISO 8124-1 standards.
- Soaking test requirements were added to the foreseeable use testing for wooden toys, toys intended to be used in water, and mouth pieces of mouth-actuated toys with magnet or magnetic component.
- The exemption for experimental set has been narrowed to apply only to a set that combines both magnetism and electricity.
- Toy chest – the requirements were incorporated back in the F963 standard while repealing the F834 standard, along with providing clarification on the method for testing the lid support mechanism.
- Battery operated toys:
- Significant revision to address concerns with button cell and lithium ion coin cell batteries.
- Warning requirement on packaging and instructions added for a toy that contains certain coin or a button cell battery.
- Four new tests added for toys that contain rechargeable cells and batteries, which include battery overcharging test, repetitive overcharging test, single fault charging test and short circuit protection test.
- Heavy metals requirement:
- Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry Using Multiple Monochromatic Excitation Beams also known as HD-XRF is allowed for total element screening for homogeneous polymeric materials.
- Clarification that only paper is exempt from soluble elements requirements and that the exemption in 16 CFR 1500.91 is material and substance specific, i.e., currently only applies to total lead for listed materials.
- Guidance is provided for evaluation of stickers.
- Projectile toys – following are some of revisions for this requirement:
- Requirements for resilient leading edge added for all projectiles.
- Exemption for some ground based toys and inaccessible projectiles clarified.
- Kinetic energy density requirements added for projectiles with stored energy along with requirement for having rounded leading edge(s).
- For projectile toys with stored energy, a list of improvised projectiles based on things commonly found in household that a child may use as projectile is specified. This will also help to improve consistency amongst various laboratories.
- Requirement added for rotors on a projectile intended to rotate on a horizontal plane, mouth actuated projectile toys, and bow and arrows.
- Sound producing toys (acoustic requirements):
- C-weighted peak limit for close-to-the-ear toys increased from 95 dB to 110 dB, which aligns this requirement with that in the EN71-1 standard.
- Push/pull toy – test speed changed from 2m/s to 1 m/s.
- Various changes in the evaluation procedure to the test environment and instrumentation to closely align with the ISO 8124-1 and the 71-1 standards.
- Stuffing cleanliness requirements – the reference to the Pennsylvania stuffed toys regulation was removed and the evaluation procedure simplified to require a visual inspection using microscope.
- Ride-on toys – clarification on stability requirement that brings it in alignment with the EN 71-1 standard, and for overload testing to specifically address toys intended to be used by multiple children.
- Cords – exemption was added for straps used for waist restraints on ride-on toys.
- Cosmetic – definition revised to reference the term ‘cosmetic’ as defined in the Food, Drugs & Cosmetic Act. Additionally, the cleanliness requirements were added for bird feathers and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) method references revised to make them current.
- Clarification for impaction hazard and squeeze toys requirements.
A copy of F963-16 standard can be purchased from ASTM http://www.astm.org/Standards/F963.htm