Vol. 1065 | 15 Mar 2019

On February 27, 2019, Acting U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Buerkle spoke at the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) Annual Training & Symposium informing that effective immediately clothing storage units not meeting the requirements in ASTM F2057-17 will be considered as posing a substantial product hazard and subject to corrective action. Simultaneously, the CPSC Deputy Executive Director, Safety Operations also issued a letter informing industry about this development.

Clothing Storage Units, or CSUs, are freestanding furniture intended for storing clothing. Although typically a bedroom furniture, they may be used in other locations of the home. Examples of CSUs, as identified by the CPSC, include chests of drawers, bureaus, dressers, armoires, wardrobes, portable closets, and clothing storage lockers. CSUs do not include products that are permanently attached or built into a structure or products that are not typically intended to store clothing, such as bookcases, shelves, cabinets, entertainment furniture, office furniture, or jewelry armoires.

CSUs are associated with an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death to children. The primary cause of concern with the CSUs are tip overs – televisions tipping over along with the CSUs, CSUs tipping over when one or more drawers is open, children climbing in to or on CSUs leading to tip overs, etc.

Over the last several years, the CPSC has focused on clothing storage unit tip overs by launching the Anchor It! educational campaign in June 2015 and by initiating rulemaking under the under the Consumer Product Safety Act by issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) in November 2017.

The notice issued by CPSC Deputy Executive Director, Safety Operations to manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers requires all clothing storage units falling within the scope of the ASTM F2057 Standard, Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units, to be compliant with the requirements of the standard. Accordingly, CSUs that do not meet the requirements in the ASTM standard shall be considered as having a defect that could present a substantial product hazard under Section 15(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CSPA), 15 U.S.C. § 2064(a). And if the such products are found, they will initiate an investigation and seek appropriate corrective action.

Key safety issues addressed by the ASTM F2057-17 safety standard for clothing storage units include:

  • Stability of unit against tip overs
  • Warning label placement and permanence

In addition to issuing the letter to industry, Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle has also requested the ASTM subcommittee for the ASTM F2057 standard to:

  • increase the test weights used in Stability with Load test from 50 to 60 pounds 
  • expand the scope of the standard to include clothing storage units that are between 27 and 30 inches in height

The notice issued by the CPSC Deputy Executive Director, Safety Operations, on Feb 27, 2019, can be viewed at: https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Clothing%20Storage%20Unit_Letter%20to%20Manufacturers_Importers_Distributors_and_Retailers_2.27.19.pdf?YAB4PSB0Q8uWUybGOr8bCvW_RUCKXSf0

For questions, please contact Laxmi Ravikumar (laxmi.ravikumar@intertek.com, 630-209-9265) or Pratik Ichhaporia (pratik.ichhaporia@intertek.com, 847-212-8273)


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