W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., - The successful promulgation of ASTM standards F1169, Consumer Safety Specification for Full-Size Baby Cribs, and F406, Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Full-Size Baby Cribs/Play Yards, as mandatory rules covering full-size and non-full size cribs was among the key initiatives pursued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission during the last year, according to Inez Tenenbaum, chairman, CPSC. Tenenbaum made these remarks during her keynote address at the meeting of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) on Feb. 24, in Orlando, Fla. In addition to the highly publicized crib standards, it was noted that two other ASTM standards called for in Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) were approved by the Commission. According to the chairman, "They may not have garnered the same level of attention that cribs did, but a lot of time and effort still went into crafting the rules. I'm referring to baby bath seats and baby walkers, and I'm pleased to report that the votes to establish new federal standards for both products were also unanimous." The new rules that were approved by the CPSC make adherence to ASTM F1967, Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bath Seats, and F977, Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Walkers, mandatory requirements for these products when manufactured or sold in the United States. Among the reasons for the recent rulemakings, Tenenbaum remarked, "the bathtub and the stairs are clearly two of the most high risk places in the home for babies and toddlers, and these two rules will help prevent drownings and serious falls. ASTM leadership and the subcommittee members played a positive role in working with CPSC staff on upgrading these standards from voluntary to mandatory. I want to thank ASTM for responding to my call to bring new thinking and speed to the standards development process." CPSC staff has been working closely with ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products for decades to help develop effective consumer product safety standards and these activities have accelerated since Congress approved the CPSIA in 2008. Under the CPSIA, Section 104, the Commission is required to promulgate mandatory standards for at least 12 juvenile product categories at a rate of two every six months. Committee F15 and its subcommittees have been collaborating with CPSC staff to critically examine and update existing voluntary standards in these areas so that they could be incorporated as new mandatory requirements. The product engineers, retailers, test labs, consumer advocates and other safety experts participating in the ASTM F15 subcommittees work closely with CPSC to evaluate death and injury data, hazard patterns and recent recalls to assure that the standards adequately address safety concerns. These cooperative activities can also lead to developing new testing protocols and conducting laboratory tests to validate testing approaches. "It is wonderful for Chairman Tenenbaum to recognize the efforts of the ASTM volunteer members and the effectiveness of the ASTM process," noted Paul Giampavolo, Committee F15 chairman and president of SafeStrap Co. Inc. in Wharton, N.J. "The recent rulemakings really demonstrate how the bar for consumer safety can be raised when the regulators and the industry and consumer stakeholders work cooperatively toward the same goal." For the full text of Chairman Tenenbaum's remarks, visit www.cpsc.gov/PR/tenenbaum02242011.html.
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