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Canada Opens Consultation on the Proposed Regulatory Approach Regarding Formaldehyde in Composite Wood Products

In August, Canada Environment and Climate Changes opens a consultation on the proposed regulatory approach to reduce the emission of formaldehyde from composite wood products. The regulation is intended to be proposed through Canada Gazette later in 2018.

The proposed regulatory approach aims to reduce formaldehyde exposure from indoor air.

In the proposed regulatory approach, it is required that all composite wood products, including laminated products and finished goods made from composite wood products, comply with emission standards for formaldehyde. The Government of Canada is considering the CSA standard and regulatory approach taken in US and other jurisdictions as models for designing the proposed regulation.

Changes in ASTM F963-17 Toy Safety Standard

On August 24, 2017, a new version of toys safety standard, ASTM F963-17, was published. On September 1, 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was notified by ASTM of the updated standard publication.

Revision summary is listed below:

According to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the updated standard will be enforced and become mandatory 180 days after ASTM has notified the Consumer Product Note:  The CPSC may reject the revision within 90 days.

Time line:

August 24, 2017 - Publication of ASTM F963 version 2017

Before November 30, 2017 - CPSC will make decision on the adoption of the updated standard

February 28, 2018 - The standard will become mandatory if it is adopted by CPSC.

The following requirements or test methods are amended:

Section: 3.1.20

Requirement: Terminology

Amendment Summary:  Modified definition of “Cosmetics” to clarify that cosmetics applied to toys are not subject to FDCA labeling requirements. 

Removed definition: “Driving Mechanism”, since this word does not appear in current version


Requirement: Microbiological Safety

Amendment Summary: Specified bacteriological standard to be used for process water:

•   USP 35(1231); and

•   EPA 40 CFR 141.63

Section: 4.21

Requirement: Projectile Toys

Amendment Summary: New Exemption to Kinetic Energy Density (KED) requirements for Projectiles having kinetic energy less than 0.08 J (when tested)

Section: 4.25

Requirement: Test Method for Toys which Produce Noise

Amendment Summary:  Clarified that PTC resistors are “not” short circuited.

-   Clarified that “floor and tabletop” toys that move do not include push/pull toys



European Commission Sets New Limits for Phenol in Toys:

Children are sensitive to harmful substances but not all products that our little ones come into contact with are free of chemicals posing a health hazard. Phenol for example: The colorless, crystalline substance is used by industry particularly for the manufacture of plastics.  It can occur in PVC, resin bonded wood or be used as a preservative in liquid toy materials such as: soap bubble liquids and water-based inks.  It is highly toxic, causes damage to organs and is suspected of being germ cell mutagenized.
To protect children the European Commission has amended the Toy Directive 2009/48/EC and set new limits for the use of phenol in toys.

According to Annex II Appendix C of the Directive, the following limits will apply in the future:

  • 5 mg/l (migration limit) in polymeric materials in accordance with the methods as per EN 71-10:2005 and EN 71-11:2005
  • 10 mg/kg (content limit) as a preservative based on the methods as per EN 71-10:2005 and EN 71-11:2005

The limits must be applied as of November 4, 2018.