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Monday September 27, 2021

ASTM Panel Targets Child-Appeal of Lamp/Torch Fuel

An ASTM F15.72 working group September 21 had preliminary discussion towards a potential standard on lamp and torch fuel scent and color. The work is a follow-on to the soon-to-be active standard, F3304-21 on packaging for such fuels, which does address visibility of the fuels via a mandate for opaque packaging.


The new work seeks to add extra protections for fuel that can be attractive to children due to color or scent. Importantly, CPSC staff suggested there is data showing children over age 2 can be attracted to non-bright colors as much as bright, and there even was talk during the virtual session of the appeal of clear or white liquids that, strictly speaking, have no colors. This point raised a possible need to ensure that words like color do not wrongly imply exemptions.


As for scent, there was a question about whether the appealing odor would come from the packaging or from the lamp/torch via diffusion during burning. There likely will be a third phase of this work aimed at lamps/torches.


In any event, potential performance standards might involve additional leakage and flow restriction tests with CR closures removed. This could compel secondary devices like pour restrictors found on products like lighter fluids.


A question about bitterants drew a remark from a CPSC staffer that very low quantities can cause harm, so bitterants might not protect against risky doses. An industry representative further noted that bitterants can cause vomiting, which is an aspiration risk with such fuels.


There also were questions about whether certain ingredients – like EPA-regulated insect repellants – would render a fuel out of scope. This is a CPSC driven voluntary standard. The impetus is a 2011 petition seeking opaque packaging. Commissioners deferred consideration the following year (PSL, 10/8/12) to allow standards activities.