US CPSC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Infant Bath Tubs
SAFEGUARDS | Toys & Juvenile Products NO. 137/15
The proposed rule is in response to the direction under Section 104(b) of the CPSIA and it is based on the voluntary ASTM F2670-13 Safety Specification for Infant Bath Tubs, with several modifications to strengthen the standard.
On 28 July, 2015 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a draft notice  of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for a safety standard for infant bath tubs. The CPSC is proposing an amendment to 16 CFR part 1112 to include 16 CFR part 1234 in the list of notice of requirements (NORs) issued by the Commission.
The proposed rule is in response to the direction under Section 104(b) of the CPSIA and it is based on the voluntary standard developed by ASTM, ASTM F2670-13 Safety Specification for Infant Bath Tubs, but with several modifications intended to strengthen the standard.
ASTM F2670-13 defines an “infant bath tub” as a “tub, enclosure, or other similar product intended to hold water and be placed into an adult bath tub, sink, or on top of other surfaces to provide support or containment, or both, for an infant in a reclining, sitting, or standing position during bathing by a caregiver.”
CPSC staff has received detailed reports from various sources of 202 incidents related to infant bath tubs from January 1, 2004 through May 20, 2015. Thirty-one of these incidents (15%) were fatal. Of the 146 victims whose age could be determined, 141 (97%) were under 2 years of age. In the 168 incidents in which the sex of the child was reported, 54 percent of the victims were male, and 46 percent of the victims were female. The incident reports included: drowning/near drowning, falling, protrusion/sharp areas/laceration issues, product failures for collapsed or broken units, entrapment issues, and slippery tub surface issues. Mold/allergy issues have also been identified as major cause for incident reports.
The CPSC staff believes that adaptation of ASTM F2670-13 with modifications to some of the warnings, labeling and instructions as listed below will further reduce the risk of injury to infants and toddlers associated with infant bath tubs.
- Increasing the font size of the text of the on-product warnings to make the warnings consistent with Commission requirements and similar to that of infant bath seats;
- Requiring the use of a “hazard color” for warnings on the product and its retail package;
- Revising the warning content to simplify and clarify the language and to add specific language to address the risk of falls; and
- Specifying the format of the warnings on the product, its retail packaging and in the accompanying instructions to increase the potential impact of the warnings thus providing a more consistent presentation of hazard information.
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