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ASTM updates labelling requirements of clothing storage tip-over safety standard.

SAFEGUARDS | Hardgoods NO. 166/17

SafeGuardS kid sitting in clothes

On October 27, 2017, ASTM published an update [1] of ASTM F2057 “Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units”. The updated standard now designated ASTM F2057 – 17, provides additional labeling requirements. The updated warning label now includes a “hazard symbol” pictorial of a child climbing a clothing storage item outlined in a slashed circle. Additionally, warning labels, must be deemed permanent.

The inclusion of the pictorial warning label is focused on relaying the possibility of a child climbing the storage item.  Not readily thought of by consumers, the CPSC has carried out a public awareness campaign to educate consumers of this danger. Inclusion of the pictorial warning label furthers this effort by visually prompting the consumer to recognize the danger.

Additionally, the 2017 warning labels shall be deemed “permanent” based on warning label construction. Paper warning labels are deemed permanent if “during an attempt to remove it without the aid of tools or solvents, it cannot be removed, it tears into pieces upon removal, or such action damages the surface to which it is attached.” Non-paper warning labels are deemed permanent “if during an attempt to remove it without the aid of tools or solvents, it cannot be removed or such action damages the surface to which it is attached”. Furthermore, warning labels that are “applied directly onto the surface of the product” shall undergo the Test Method B tape adhesion test detailed in ASTM D3359 “Standard Test Methods for Rating Adhesion by Tape Test. This involves scoring a lattice pattern with either six or eleven cuts in each direction is made through the film to the substrate, pressure-sensitive tape is applied over the lattice pattern and then removed. Upon removal, the warning label is inspected to ensure adherence legibility. This warning label permeance test is common among ASTM juvenile product safety standards.

In addition to the labeling requirements, a clarification of the standard’s intent was included in ASTM F0257’s introduction, stating “this specification does not address hazards created by blatant misuse of a product, including, but not limited to, use of the product in a manner that is neither intended by the manufacturer nor reasonably foreseeable”.

ASTM F2057’s most critical requirement, the stability evaluation was not revised, although pressure from the CPSC to increase the severity of this stability and/or lower the 30” height cut off may lead to further editions. The requirement of mandatory inclusion of ASTM F3096 “Standard Performance Specification for Tipover Restraint(s) Used with Clothing Storage Unit(s)” compliant tipover restraints with the product remains unchanged as well.

Aimed at reducing the rate of fatal incidents associated with the tip-over of free-standing clothing storage items 30 inches and taller, ASTM F2057 was originally established in 2000 as a voluntary standard. ASTM F2057 defines clothing storage items as “furniture item intended for the storage of clothing typical of bedroom furniture”, and specifically mentions chests, door chests, and dressers. Furniture items that are not within the scope include “shelving units, such as bookcases or entertainment furniture, office furniture, dining room furniture, jewelry armoires, underbed drawer storage units or built-in units intended to be permanently attached to the building”.

Although not included as a regulatory safety standard, adherence to ASTM F2057 is strongly recommended by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). The standard has been referenced in recent high-profile recalls for instable furniture. 

For enquiries, please contact:

Matthew McGarrity
Technical Manager - Hardlines
t: +01 973 897-8889

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