Products Liability Law Daily CPSC revises mandatory safety standard for infant bouncer seats
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Friday, September 6, 2019

CPSC revises mandatory safety standard for infant bouncer seats

By Colleen Kave, J.D.

Agency adopts revised warning label requirements

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a direct final rule revising the agency’s mandatory safety standard for infant bouncer seats to incorporate by reference the most recent version of the applicable ASTM standard. The rule will go into effect on December 14, 2019, unless the agency receives significant adverse comment by October 7, 2019. If CPSC receives timely significant adverse comments, the agency will publish notification in the Federal Register, withdrawing this direct final rule before its effective date (CPSC Final Rule84 FR 46878, September 6, 2019).

Background. Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), also known as the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, requires CPSC to assess the effectiveness of voluntary standards for durable infant or toddler products and adopt mandatory standards for these products. The law requires that these standards be "substantially the same as" applicable voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standards if the agency concludes that more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury associated with the product.

The CPSIA also sets forth a process for updating CPSC’s durable infant or toddler standards when the voluntary standard upon which the CPSC standard was based is changed. Section 104(b)(4)(B) of the CPSIA provides that if an organization revises a standard that has been adopted, in whole or in part, as a consumer product safety standard under this subsection, it must notify CPSC. In addition, the revised voluntary standard must be considered to be a consumer product safety standard issued by the agency under section 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2058), effective 180 days after the date on which the organization notifies CPSC (or such later date specified by the agency in the Federal Register) unless, within 90 days after receiving that notice, CPSC notifies the organization that it has determined that the proposed revision does not improve the safety of the consumer product covered by the standard and that the agency is retaining the existing consumer product safety standard.

In September 2017, CPSC adopted a mandatory rule for infant bouncer seats in 16 CFR part 1229 that incorporated by reference the voluntary standard in effect at that time, ASTM F2167–17, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Bouncer Seats, with more stringent requirements for the content and placement of warning labels (82 FR 43470, September 18, 2017). On June 17, 2019, ASTM notified CPSC that it had updated the infant bouncer seat standard, including additional warning label content and placement requirements that are consistent with those in 16 CFR part 1229.

Revised standard. The ASTM standard for infant bouncer seats includes performance requirements and test methods, as well as requirements for warning labels and instructional literature, to address hazards to children associated with infant bouncer seats. ASTM F2167–19 includes revised requirements for the content and visibility of on-product warning labels. Specifically, the required warnings must be visible above an imaginary horizontal line that crosses the torso of a CAMI dummy placed in the product. The previous version of the voluntary standard only required that warnings be "conspicuous and permanent."

Additionally, the revised ASTM standard requires additional phrasing in the warning statements that labels must address regarding fall hazards and suffocation hazards. The previous standard cautioned the user to "ALWAYS use restraints. Adjust to fit snugly." Under the revised standard, this portion of the warnings must indicate: "ALWAYS use restraints and adjust to fit snugly, even if baby falls asleep." This revised wording matches the wording that 16 CFR part 1229 requires. Finally, ASTM F2167–19 includes editorial revisions that do not alter the substantive requirements or affect safety.

Upon review of the newly revised ASTM standard, CPSC determined that the changes will improve the safety of infant bouncer seats. Accordingly, under the CPSIA, ASTM F2167–19 will become the mandatory standard for infant bouncer seats effective December 14, 2019, 180 days after CPSC received ASTM’s notice.

MainStory: TopStory FinalRules BabyProductsNews

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