Association News

ASTM International updates toy safety standard.

Press Release Summary:

Oct 21, 2016 - After collaboration over 5 years, leading experts in and advocates for toy safety have completed major revision to one of world's most widely used toy safety standards, which will be published as F963-16: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. Some updates include: new battery safety requirements; soaking and compression tests for magnets; changes to requirements for toys involving projectiles; and new requirements for materials and toys that could expand if accidentally swallowed.

ASTM International - West Conshohocken, PA

Original Press Release

ASTM International Updates World-Renowned Toy Safety Standard

Press release date: Oct 20, 2016

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.,  -- After diligent collaboration over five years, hundreds of leading experts in and advocates for toy safety have completed a major revision to one of the world's most respected and widely used toy safety standards. The updated standard will be published soon as F963-16: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety.

"We identified existing parts of the 2011 standard that needed clarification, updating, or alignment," said ASTM member Joan Lawrence, senior vice president, standards and regulatory affairs, Toy Industry Association, Inc., and chair of the ASTM F15.22 subcommittee. "We also looked at potential emerging safety issues, new product features and new ways that toys are being used that may pose a risk to children."

The 2016 update includes the following changes, among others:
  • new requirements to the already-extensive section on battery safety;
  • soaking and compression tests for magnets;
  • changes to requirements for toys involving projectiles;
  • new requirements for materials and toys that could expand if accidentally swallowed;
  • new requirements and clarifications related to microbiological safety;
  • clarifications to requirements related to heavy elements in the substrate materials of toys and the addition of an optional, alternate test method for total screen testing;
  • a new curb impact requirement, a clarification of overload and stability requirements, and a strap exemption for ride-on toys; and,
  • clarification of requirements and supplemental guidance for impact hazards.
Manufacturers, importers, and retailers use the standard to design and sell products that comply with laws such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which mandates that all toys comply with F963.

Regulatory bodies and testing laboratories also use the standard. For example, labs use the requirements and test methods within the standard to check for compliance and to support certification, as required under CPSIA.

F963 was created in 1986 by ASTM International Committee on Consumer Products (F15), and is the modern edition of the world's first comprehensive safety standard, dating to 1976.  According to Lawrence, the Subcommittee on Toy Safety (F15.22) recognizes the importance of its role in protecting children and continually looks to ensure that the standard supports safety and reflects the latest information on risk.   

Further information on F963 can be found here.  To read the Standardization News feature article on this revision, click here.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards at www.astm.org/JOIN.

Helping our world work better
Over 12,000 ASTM standards operate globally. Defined and set by us, they improve the lives of millions every day. Combined with our innovative business services, they enhance performance and help everyone have confidence in the things they buy and use – from the toy in a child's hand to the aircraft overhead.

Working across borders, disciplines, and industries we harness the expertise of over 30,000 members to create consensus and improve performance in manufacturing and materials, products and processes, systems and services. Understanding commercial needs and consumer priorities, we touch every part of everyday life: helping our world work better.

For more news in this sector, visit www.astm.org/sn-consumer.

ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products Next Meeting: Nov. 14-16, 2016, November Committee Week, Orlando, Fla.
Media Inquiries: Dan Bergels, tel +1.610.832.9602; dbergels@astm.org
Technical Contact: Joan Lawrence, Toy Industry Association, New York, N.Y., tel +1.646.520.4844; jlawrence@toyassociation.org
ASTM Staff Contact: Leonard Morrissey, tel +1.610.832.971; lmorrissey@astm.org