ASTM International publishes update to voluntary safety standard for clothing storage units

Publication now requires CPSC to review the changes and promulgate a final rule once it completes its review

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Penn. — ASTM International, a developer of product safety standards, has published an update to the voluntary safety standard for clothing storage furniture that officials say meets the technical requirements of the STURDY Act signed into law in late December.

As required by STURDY (Stop Tip-Overs of Risky Dressers on Youth), the publication of the updated standard begins a process by which the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission will promulgate a mandatory safety standard for clothing storage units.

Known as F2057-23, the update was drafted by members of ASTM’s Furniture Safety Subcommittee, which includes the American Home Furnishings Alliance and more than a dozen of its member companies. The subcommittee also includes parents, consumer advocates, regulators and furniture companies that are not members of AHFA.

The goal of the updated standard and the STURDY Act is to reduce the number of tip-overs involving clothing storage units that are known to injure and kill children.

According to the AHFA, the CPSC has about 90 days to promulgate a final rule once it completes its review of F2057-23. While AHFA said STURDY does not say when the 90-day period must begin, the new mandatory rule must be in place one year after the Dec. 29, 2022, enactment of STURDY.

Then the industry has 120 days to comply with the new rule if it is based on F2057-23 or 180 days if the CPSC adopts a standard other than F2057-23.

The testing requirements required by STURDY that are part of the updated voluntary standard include:

+ Performance tests that simulate real world use of clothing storage furniture, including a test that accounts for carpeted flooring and its impact on stability; a test that accounts for the impact of loaded drawers and multiple drawers open at the same time and a test that simulates the dynamic force of a child climbing upon or playing on the unit.

+ Performance tests that simulate the weight of children up to 60 pounds

+ Performance tests for all clothing storage units 27 inches or taller

While the updated standard and STURDY give the industry a clear path forward toward actual compliance, the CPSC has developed another mandatory standard that was published Nov. 25, 2022, and takes effect May 24 for all units manufactured on or after that date.

This rule requires manufacturers to calculate each unit’s tip-over moment, which the AHFA said is then compared with a threshold tip-over moment in order to address the impact of real-life situations involving children climbing on the units. The results of these tests are then incorporated into a sliding scale of more or less stable that is communicated to consumers on a hangtag on the sales floor.

AHFA said that manufacturers have found the instructions for determining the tip-over and threshold tip-over moments to be “ambiguous,” with the calculations producing “variable results.” Industry officials also believe the updated F2057 tests for actual compliance versus a sliding scale of more or less stable proposed by the CPSC.

“Without a clear pathway for manufacturers to comply with the rule, CPSC will have no clear pathway for enforcement,” AHFA said in a release announcing the publication of the updated voluntary standard.

Now that the updated standard has been published, the CPSC is required to review it and adopt it as the mandatory standard if it meets the performance requirements of STURDY as noted above.

This was part of an amendment to STURDY negotiated last summer between the AHFA and child safety  groups including Parents Against Tip-Overs, The Consumer Federation of America, Kids in Danger and other stakeholders. The goal was to make sure that the CPSC gave the updated standard the appropriate consideration.

Based on how the law is written, AHFA and other industry observers say that it will be difficult for CPSC to show that the updated standard does not meet the requirements of STURDY.

However, observers note that how the final rule is written will be up to the CPSC and can include all or parts of the updated voluntary standard, or keep the CPSC standard the same as it was published in late November.   

Those wanting to buy copies of the updated F2057 can click here. The cost is $98.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

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