Safer Children's Toys – ASTM F963 Toy Safety Standard Required by U.S. Law

Under new federal legislation that takes effect today, all toys sold in the United States must meet the safety requirements of ASTM F963, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety.

This new measure for protecting children from unsafe toys, which won strong bipartisan approval in Congress after nearly a year of hearings and debate, is part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).  The law makes the ASTM F963 standard a mandatory requirement for toys while the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) studies the standard's effectiveness and issues final consumer guidelines for toy safety.

The ASTM F963 standard incorporates relevant safety measures already required under federal law and includes additional guidelines and test methods to prevent injuries from choking, sharp edges and other potential hazards.  ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products — which includes a dedicated group of technical experts from academia, consumer groups, industry and government — regularly reviews and updates the F963 toy safety standard to ensure that its technical guidance is up to date. By mandating the requirements in the ASTM standard for all toys sold in the U.S., Congress has recognized the value of this collaborative safety standard. 

"When powerful magnets emerged as a new toy safety hazard, technical experts from ASTM Committee F15 recognized the seriousness of the issue and quickly worked to update the F963 toy safety standard," said Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who championed the toy safety standard requirements included in the new CPSIA. "This standard also provides an open, collaborative process to address changing conditions needed to ensure the safety of toys and children's products."

In addition to federalizing the ASTM toy safety standard, the CPSIA includes additional requirements for toys as well as other children's products and sets strict limits on lead and phthalates.  For more information about the CPSIA and compliance with this new law, visit the CPSC Web site,  To learn more about how ASTM International's standards support consumer safety, visit

ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM’s open consensus process, using advanced Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact Len Morrissey, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9719; 

Release #8174/Feb2009


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