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ASTM Issues New Bunk Bed Labeling Requirements

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ASTM International has adopted a new bunk bed safety label that must be used on all beds manufactured after January 1, 2005. The new safety label, approved by ASTM on October 1, warns consumers about strangulation hazards. It states: “Never attach or hang items to any part of the bunk bed that are not designed for use with the bed, for example, but not limited to, hooks, belts and jump ropes.” The revised labeling requirement was brought about by a petition filed with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in September 2002 by the Danny Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the family of a 23-month old boy who suffered permanent brain damage after his shirt became entangled on the corner post extension of his crib in 1984. In the petition, the Foundation asked the CPSC to look at protruding corner posts, extensions and finials as hazardous catch points on bunk beds. Bill Perdue, vice president of the American Furniture Manufacturers Association and chairman of the ASTM subcommittee assigned to study the hazard, says the new labels were developed as an interim safeguard. “The subcommittee continues working on the development of a performance test to evaluate corner post extensions. We anticipate having a new testing protocol finalized by the spring of 2006,” he reports. Manufacturers who included the previous safety label information on cartons or within instructional brochures included with their bunk beds must update all of these materials for products manufactured after January 1, 2005. Manufacturers can download the new labeling standard (ASTM F-1427) from the ASTM website at www.astm.org. The American Furniture Manufacturers Association is headquartered in High Point, N.C. – the furniture capital of the world – and represents more than 200 leading U.S. furniture manufacturers and 250 suppliers to the furniture industry.

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