Product Reviews

Parents, consumer safety groups urge CPSC to back STURDY

HIGH POINT – Several consumer safety groups and a parent group have written letters to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, urging it to support ASTM F2057-23, the updated voluntary furniture stability standard they believe meets the requirements of STURDY.

Enacted last December, STURDY is the “Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth” Act. It requires the CPSC to adopt a mandatory safety standard for clothing storage units, and it sets forth certain performance requirements that must be included in that standard.

For reasons that remain unclear, the CPSC published its own rule regarding tip-overs merely a month before STURDY was signed into law. That rule, with an implementation date of May 24, has received pushback from the furniture industry.

In a joint letter, Consumer Reports and Kids in Danger voiced strong support of the ASTM standard, highlighting its feasibility, reliable testing and how it satisfies the requirements of STURDY.

“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,” Consumer Reports and Kids in Danger wrote.

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 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.

STURDY also received support in a Feb. 7 letter co-signed by Parents Against Tip-overs and the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

“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,” the joint letter said.

“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,” said Bill Perdue, AHFA vice president of regulatory affairs.

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Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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