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Monday April 01, 2019

Commissioners Receive Updates on ASTM's CSU Work

Commissioners March 26 and 27 got updates on progress and potential future projects on updating the F2598 standard for clothing storage units (CSUs).


In the session with Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, ASTM F15.42 subcommittee chairman Rick Rosati also heard suggestions from her staff for potential future work, including a potential provision to require manufacture dates on products. The idea would be to aid incident investigations, including CPSC's IDI work. Rosati said he would raise the idea with the panel. (PSL did not attend the meetings with other offices.)


Buerkle's chief counsel Gib Mullan also wondered about use of effective dates in ASTM standards. The point would be to give companies time to shift products into compliance much like they can with CPSC rules, potentially making companies more comfortable voting for stricter updates.


Rosati noted that ASTM standards are effective upon publication. It was unclear if ASTM would be open to that approach, but those around the table agreed that companies involved with ASTM typically are aware well in advance of coming changes.


Mullan wondered whether standards should address use of compliance marks. Rosati said it would be more of a certification issue but that he would check about ASTM's views on that.


Other issues discussed during the session included:

  • Interlocking drawers – aimed at allowing only one at a time being pulled out – are likely to get attention in future discussion by the subcommittee.

  • Carpet testing discussion might be reinvigorated. It had stalled awaiting CPSC testing, but Rosati said that given the agency's need to delay that work (see related story in this issue), it might be worth prodding renewed attention by the relevant working group.

  • The definition of nightstand is basic for now, using a dictionary, but there will be work towards more specificity for use in the standard. Focus likely will be on drawer volume and top surface area with units falling under such specifications being deemed nightstands.

  • Test weights are getting debate related to tolerances. There especially was pushback to a CPSC staffer's description of two 30-lb weights, both with tolerances. The goal of such allowed variations is to make balancing the test setup easier.

  • The meaning of under 5 years old is a debate and even has led to a negative ballot vote. The issue is whether that designation refers to when a child turns that age (60 months) or the full year that age applied (up to 72 months). The disagreement stemmed from a proposal to describe targeted ages in months rather than years and arose last fall (PSL, 11/5/18). It is linked to movement towards raising a stability test weight from 50- to 60-lbs and where those figures fall related to the anthropometric percentiles for the age range.

  • Increased weights could be proxies for other issues, such as carpet or dynamic testing. The idea would be that a model capable of passing basic testing with a high weight – say 72-lbs – would be more likely to pass the more complex tests.

  • The understanding of operational slide lengths is becoming distinct from drawer depth as manufacturers further vary the length of the glides that limit how far drawers can be pulled out.