U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric and members of the commission received two significant letters of support this week for ASTM International F2057-23 – the updated voluntary furniture stability standard drafted to meet the requirements within STURDY.
STURDY is the “Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth” Act, legislation enacted in December as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2023.
A detailed, four-page letter from Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, and Gabe Knight, policy analyst for Consumer Reports, outlined how ASTM F2057-23 satisfies each of STURDY’s performance requirements.
“The STURDY Act provides an opportunity for the CPSC to rely upon ASTM F2057-23 if it meets the requirements of the STURDY Act. We are confident that it does,” the two organizations stated in their March 6 letter.
This endorsement was further supported on March 7 with a bipartisan letter to the commission from 11 leading legislators.
“We write to encourage the Consumer Product Safety Commission to work expeditiously to implement the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth, or STURDY Act,” the legislators said.
ASTM F2057-23 is supported by Parents Against Tip-overs, the Congressional letter noted. Therefore, “consistent with Congress’s intent to provide protection for children and peace-of-mind for parents, we call on CPSC to use its expertise to swiftly evaluate the ASTM International voluntary standard and ensure a safe and effective rule is in place as quickly as possible...”
The letter was signed by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), both of whom championed STURDY as it was making its way through Congress.
Additional signatories included Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rick Scott (R-FL), as well as Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), chair of the House Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce.
This week’s communications to Hoehn-Saric and the commission follow a February 7 letter to the chair co-signed by the American Home Furnishings Alliance and Parents Against Tip-overs, as well as a March 6 letter from the retail Home Furnishings Association.
“PAT and AHFA are united in this request for prompt agency action to review and consider F2057-23 as a mandatory product safety standard for clothing storge furniture,” their joint letter asserted.
It is letter, HFA stated: “We strongly believe that the revised ASTM F2057-23 safety standard for clothing storage units meets the criteria outlined in the STURDY Act and must be adopted by CPSC as the federal Safety Standard. It achieves everyone’s goal of protecting children.”
AHFA has advocated adopting a revised F2057 as the mandatory safety standard required by STURDY since the fall of 2021. Instead, CPSC adopted and published its Safety Standard for Clothing Storage Units (16 CFR 1261), which goes into effect May 24, 2023.
“This week’s communications further emphasize the strength of the collaborative effort between parents, industry, consumer advocates, child safety experts and legislators from both sides of the aisle to advance F2057-23,” concluded Bill Perdue, AHFA vice president of regulatory affairs.