As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a direct final rule exempting unfinished and untreated trunk wood from third party testing for the eight heavy metals listed in the ASTM F963-11 toy safety standard. The rule is slated to come into effect on September 15.
Congress had mandated the CPSC to seek ways to reduce third-party testing costs for toy and children’s product manufacturers, while continuing to assure compliance with federal standards and regulations. The CPSC issued a plan to spend close to $1 million this year on such efforts, and hired a contractor to conduct a literature search to assess untreated wood and other natural materials that are likely to be used in toys subject to the ASTM F963 solubility limits for antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium.
The contractor was unable to find sufficient information to determine whether any of the reviewed materials besides untreated wood—including bamboo, beeswax, undyed and untreated fibers and textiles, and uncoated or coated paper—contain the heavy elements in concentrations above the limits stated in the toy standard. The TIA has claimed that the exemption for untreated or unfinished wood will provide minimal relief for toy manufacturers, given that raw or untreated wood is utilized in only a small proportion of toys on the market.
TIA will be submitting comments on behalf of the industry urging CPSC to further pursue third-party testing reduction efforts. Companies that would like to provide feedback to be folded into TIA’s comments are invited to contact the TIA’s Autumn Moore at email@example.com by August 17.