Gasoline Containers (Child-Resistant)

Gasoline from gas cans is responsible for deaths and injuries both from ignition of the volatile vapors and from direct aspiration into the lung or aspiration following vomiting of ingested gasoline.
November 16, 2005

Gasoline from gas cans is responsible for deaths and injuries both from ignition of the volatile vapors and from direct aspiration into the lung or aspiration following vomiting of ingested gasoline. In 1980, a voluntary standards subcommittee, ASTM F15.10, was formed to look specifically at the safety of portable gasoline containers (gas cans). At that time, several voluntary standards for gas cans were developed that focused on cautionary labeling and safety performance requirements for gas cans such as drop testing. Child-resistance was not the focus of these early standards.

 

Gasoline from gas cans is responsible for deaths and injuries both from ignition of the volatile vapors and from direct aspiration into the lung or aspiration following vomiting of ingested gasoline. In 1980, a voluntary standards subcommittee, ASTM F15.10, was formed to look specifically at the safety of portable gasoline containers (gas cans). At that time, several voluntary standards for gas cans were developed that focused on cautionary labeling and safety performance requirements for gas cans such as drop testing. Child-resistance was not the focus of these early standards.

 

In September 1999, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted emission and spill-control regulations for gas cans to reduce smog-forming pollution from gas cans. The available gasoline cans did not meet the new regulations and major changes had to be incorporated in order to comply with the CARB requirements. Since changes to gas cans were being made to comply with CARB standards, gas can manufacturers began to investigate incorporating child-resistance. In 1999, ASTM subcommittee F15.10 formed a task group to explore the possibility of child-resistant gas cans. CPSC staff participated with the task group.

 

The ASTM F15.10 subcommittee issued a child-resistance standard using the provisional standard development procedures in February 2001 entitled ASTM PS 119-01 Provisional Standard Specifications for Child-resistant Portable Gasoline Containers for Consumer Use. A provisional standard is in effect for two years unless it becomes a full consensus standard.

 

ASTM PS 119-01 was intended to be technically equivalent to the testing protocols and standards defined in the regulations of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. The provisional standard included the test methods for children and seniors described at 16 CFR § 1700.20. The child-resistance and senior-adult-use-effectiveness standards in PS 119-01 are equivalent to those in 16 CFR §1700.15. However, the standard did not specifically address procedures for testing multiple openings on gas cans. PS 119-01 expired before being converted to a full-consensus standard.

 

The ASTM subcommittee did not to reinstate the provisional standard as originally written. A draft standard that was more specific to the characteristics of gas cans was revised and balloted several times. The CPSC staff provided comments with each ballot and worked closely with ASTM F15.10 to attain a full consensus standard for child-resistance that is specific for testing gas cans. A full consensus standard, F2517-05, Determination of Child-Resistance for Portable Fuel Containers for Consumer Use” was approved on September 1, 2005.

 

Additional Information

 

Voluntary Standard and Code Activities:

 

CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts:

 

ASTM International

  • For further information concerning ASTM F2517-05, Determination of Child-Resistance for Portable Fuel Containers for Consumer Use, please contact Len Morrissey at lmorriss@astm.org or ASTM International at www.astm.org

 

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