Written by Mark Smith
Manufacturers and distributors of toys should be aware that a new revision of ASTM F963, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, has just gone into effect. Changes made to the standard include revisions to the section on heavy metals, the introduction of compositing procedures, and new safety requirements and technical guidance for bath toy projections, acoustics and other potential safety hazards in toys.
Some of the key revisions in F963-11 include the following, as stated by ASTM International:
• Heavy Metals—Limits for heavy metals in toy substrates have been added to the existing surface coating requirements.
• Compositing Procedure for Total Heavy Metal Analysis—Revisions outline detailed procedures for accomplishing this end by specifying the conditions under which compositing is allowable, when a composite result may be relied upon without further testing, and when testing of individual samples must subsequently be performed.
• Bath Toy Projections—Revisions are intended to address the potential hazards that may be presented by vertical, or nearly vertical, rigid projections on bath toys. This requirement is intended to minimize possible puncture or other hazards to the skin that might be caused if a child were to fall on a rigid projection.
• Among other revised areas of the standard--are sections on jaw entrapment; toys with spherical ends; stability of ride on toys; requirements for squeeze toys attached to rings; use of cords, straps and elastics; packaging film; and yo-yo tether balls.