Today’s vote to adopt the stability requirements of ASTM F2057-23 (the ASTM standard) as a mandatory safety standard to protect children against furniture tipovers is the culmination of decades of work on this issue. And it is parents who have been leading the charge. Parents who suffered immeasurable loss. Parents who turned their tragedies into triumph for millions of other unsuspecting parents, caregivers, and children. Parents Against Tipovers championed this effort, and worked with safety advocates, industry, and Members of Congress to forge a path forward to push industry to make safer furniture and save children’s lives. I applaud them and their efforts.
CPSC staff also deserve special recognition and our deep appreciation for a job well done. Prior to the Commission’s decision today, CPSC staff worked tirelessly to develop a strong mandatory safety rule to address furniture tipovers, which the Commission approved in October 2022, and I was proud to support. Segments of industry fought against the implementation of this strong safety rule refusing to build safer furniture to the standard and creating significant legal uncertainty.
Following the adoption of CPSC’s rule and the industry challenge, Congress passed STURDY as part of the omnibus appropriations bill in December 2022. The bill required the Commission to review the ASTM standard and, should that standard meet STURDY’s requirements for protecting children from tipover-related death or injury, to adopt the ASTM standard as a mandatory safety standard.
As Congress intended, we moved quickly to analyze the ASTM standard, make a determination, and issue a final rule that will require manufacturers to make safer clothing storage units starting 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register. With the implementation of STURDY, I expect industry to shift their efforts to quickly complying with these new safety requirements. CPSC will be actively monitoring the marketplace and enforcing this important safety standard.
The step we’ve taken today could not have been done without years of work by advocates and Commission staff. CPSC’s new rule backed by STURDY will significantly reduce tipover-related deaths and injuries and provides peace of mind to families across the country.