ASTM International is expected to publish an update to the voluntary furniture stability standard this month incorporating two new product warning labels and expanding the scope of the standard to cover clothing storage furniture 27 inches and taller. The current standard, ASTM F2057-17, covers furniture over 30 inches.
Updates to ASTM standards become effective immediately upon publication, but the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) has requested that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) allow manufacturers 180 days to implement the changes necessary to comply with this latest round of changes to F2057.
“AHFA supported expanding the scope of F2057 to cover clothing storage furniture 27 inches and taller,” noted AHFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Bill Perdue. “We also embrace the advisory CPSC issued in February alerting our industry that CPSC’s compliance staff intended to investigate and seek corrective action when encountering bedroom furniture that does not comply with F2057.”
AHFA said some of its member companies are already testing shorter chests and dressers, while others are still working to ensure units 27 to 30 inches will pass the stability testing required by F2057. “Overnight compliance is not realistic when re-engineering products is involved,” said Perdue. “Some manufacturers will redesign shorter pieces to pass the stability tests; others may remove certain pieces from their product lineup. And all companies are having to print and apply the new warning labels required by the 2019 revision.”
AHFA maintains that, historically, CPSC has allowed 180 days for compliance after the publication date of substantial changes to an ASTM standard.
“In the case of ASTM F2057-19, the 180-day timeline would provide manufacturers the minimal amount of time necessary to fully implement the design and labeling changings contained in the update,” said Perdue. “This sell-through period is reasonable given that CPSC’s data shows that serious incidents involving units between 27 inches and 30 inches tall are exceedingly rare.”
AHFA has further requested that CPSC reissue its February 2019 advisory soon after the ASTM F2057-19 standard update is published to remind companies that they should not manufacture or import noncompliant clothing storage units starting 180 days after publication of the revised standard.
“It is critical for the agency to give notice and only seek corrective action prospectively based on the date of manufacture or import, just as it would for any regulation issued under the Consumer Product Safety Act. Once the 180-day time period for compliance has lapsed, however, AHFA believes the agency should dedicate the resources necessary to sweep the marketplace, open compliance investigations and seek appropriate corrective action for any noncompliant products manufactured or imported after that compliance deadline.”