On Wednesday morning, U.S. CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle addressed the group at the annual symposium of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). In big news for KID’s priority issue of furniture tip-overs, she announced that CPSC will begin to enforce the voluntary ASTM International Standard for clothing storage units. While this standard’s shortcomings have been well-documented, it is a first step to ensuring children are safe from this preventable hazard.
Her announcement on clothing storage units also included:
1. Support for an increase to 60 pounds for testing and including all dressers 27 inches and taller in the standard – as an interim step while CPSC staff finishes planned testing and research.
2. Strengthening the AnchorIt! Campaign by requesting retailers to carry and prominently display anchoring kits and asking the American Academy of Pediatrics to cover this important safety message in well-child visits and other materials.
3. Encouraging manufacturers to work to design safer furniture that goes beyond the standard.
4. Encouraging all stakeholders to redouble efforts to strengthen the ASTM standard at a quicker pace.
These are important first steps. We will be watching to see if noncompliant products begin to be recalled or pulled from shelves and look for a timeline for more actions. If you have any incident with a dresser or other clothing storage unit, let us know and report it at SaferProducts.gov.
The CPSC acting chairman also spoke about addressing connected devices, increasing CPSC’s budget, the new recall app and regulatory robot 2.0, and the new window covering voluntary standard which eliminates cords on many window coverings.