Release date: January 7, 1975
Release number: 75-007

Release Details

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today issued final regulations for use and abuse testing of toys and proposed regulations that will ban toys presenting potential hazards of sharp edges and sharp points. The regulations are being issued under authority of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, as amended.

The use and abuse test methods, which will go into effect on February 6, 1975, do not of themselves ban toys. Rather, they provide test methods for simulating a child's abuse of toys and other products.

Existing and future banning regulations will be able to incorporate the use and abuse test methods by amendment or reference.

The regulations, originally proposed by the Food and Drug Administration on December 8, 1972, prescribe tests for impact, bite, flexure, torque, tension and compression-- all of which simulate normal and reasonably forseeable use, damage, and abuse of toys, games and other articles by children at play.

The regulations provide three different levels of testing to reflect the ages of the children for whom the toys are intended: 18 months old and less; over 18 months but not over 36 months; and over 36 months but not over 96 months.

Sharp edges and sharp points are two of the major hazards involved in serious toy related injuries. The proposed banning regulations, when finalized, will eliminate toys and other articles intended for use by children eight years old and younger that present these potential dangers.

The regulations do not affect functional edges and points on products such as toy scissors or knives as long as the products are identified as being functional.

Both of the proposed regulations utilize the use and abuse test methods for the appropriate age groups and both detail specially designed instruments to simulate the ability of the toy to actually cut or pierce the skin.

Any accessible edge or point, including those that can be reached by a fingerlike probe, will be subjected to the testing procedures.

The proposals are based in part on three studies conducted by the National Bureau of Standards: "A Study of Strength Capabilities of Children Ages Two Through Six," "Some Cutting Experiments on Human Skin and Synthetic Materials," and "The Skin Puncture Potential of Points Associated with Certain Toys."

According to a Commission spokesman, the use and abuse test methods and the proposed banning regulations for sharp edges and sharp points are major steps in the Commission's ongoing efforts to promulgate comprehensive toy safety regulations.

Currently, regulations exist banning specific categories of hazardous toys and children's products and setting minimum safety requirements for electrical toys and other electrical articles used by children. During the coming year, the Commission intends to issue regulations covering small parts and propelled objects.

The proposed effective date for the regulations is 180 days after the final orders are issued.

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