Safe Toys Are No Accident
The season of giving is about to reach its climax, and the millions of toys given to youngsters this year probably have been scrutinized for hazards as never before. Consumers surely recalled the toy recalls caused by lead content of some toys. With safety in mind, ANSI notes that December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month and recently hailed the work of a member organization, the Toy Industry Association, which started a Toy Safety Certification Program last year to improve toy safety. Created with ANSI's help, the program encourages consumer advocates, conformity assessment experts, toy companies, and retailers to improve toy safety, restore consumer confidence, and implement the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which requires manufacturers to have their toy products tested by a qualified lab and certify they meet safety standards.
In September 2008, ANSI and TIA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the accreditation program of the Toy Safety Certification Program.
Several U.S. and international standards apply to toy hazards. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 made one of them, ASTM F963-07e1, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, mandatory; it relates to "possible hazards in toys that may not be readily apparent and may be encountered during normal, intended use or reasonably foreseeable abuse," according to ANSI.
Another standard is IEC 62115 Ed. 1.1 b:2006, Electric toys – Safety, that applies to toys with at least one function dependent on electricity and was developed by International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances, of which Underwriters Laboratories is the secretariat.
The chief international standard in this area is ISO 8124, Safety of toys, which includes a Part 2 on flammability.