The STURDY Act mandates the CPSC to establish a mandatory safety standard protecting young children from potential injury or death resulting from clothing or storage units tipping over. The act also requires the standard to contain stability tests and product warning label requirements.
In this guide, we explain when and why the STURDY Act was signed into law, and its requirements concerning testing and warnings. We also cover the ASTM F2057 requirements, which was adopted as mandatory safety standard by the CPSC, as a result of the STURDY Act.
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In this section, we explain the background of the STURDY Act, and related safety standards.
On December 29, 2022, the US President signed the STURDY Act into law, which mandates the CPSC to either:
a. Evaluate whether there exists a voluntary standard that meets the Act’s requirements (e.g. testing, and warning labels based on ASTM F2057–17 requirements) and adopt it as mandatory, or
b. Establish a new clothing storage unit consumer safety standard that adheres to the STURDY Act’s requirements.
16 CFR Part 1261
In November 2022, the CPSC had published 16 CFR Part 1261 – Safety Standard for Clothing Storage Units to protect children from injury or death due to unstable clothing storage units (CSU) tipping over. This standard was supposed to take effect on May 24, 2023.
On April 19, 2023, the CPSC decided that the voluntary ASTM F2057-23 – Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units meets the STURDY Act’s requirements. As such, the CPSC adopted ASTM F2057-23 as a mandatory safety standard, by amending 16 CFR Part 1261.
As a result, the adoption of ASTM F2057-23, which will take effect on September 1, 2023, supersedes the version of 16 CFR Part 1261 published in November 2022. You can learn more on this page.
The STURDY Act, which is an acronym for “Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth”, was signed into law to require the CPSC to establish a mandatory safety standard to protect young children from injurious or fatal circumstances related to clothing storage units tipping over due to their potential instability.
The Act mandates that the safety standard include warning and testing requirements.
The act covers clothing storage units, which are defined as free-standing furniture items that are intended for clothing storage purpose.
The STURDY Act mandates that the safety standard adopted by the CSPC include requirements about stability tests and warning labels for clothing storage units.
The act requires the CPSC to ensure that the adopted safety standard includes specific tests about tip-overs, such as the following:
a. Stability tests regarding the clothing storage unit’s placement on carpets.
b. Stability tests regarding clothing storage units with multiple full and open drawers.
c. Tests that simulate the weight of a 60-pound child interacting with the clothing storage unit.
Finally, the tests should ensure that safety features – excluding tip restraints, – should work as intended, if consumers can’t disable such features under typical usage circumstances.
The act also requires the CPSC to include warning requirements about relevant clothing storage units for sale in the US.
These warnings should be based on the warning requirements set by ASTM F2057-19, or its successor, as long as the CPSC “strengthens” the requirements, if this is necessary.
16 CFR Part 1261 – Safety Standard for Clothing Storage Units
The amended version of 16 CFR Part 1261 states that:
a. This standard applies to clothing storage units manufactured after 1 September 2023.
b. Clothing storage units are subjected to the requirements of ASTM F2057–23, which is incorporated by reference into this standard.
ASTM F2057 – Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units
ASTM F2057 – Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units is meant to reduce the chances of children up to 6 years of age getting injured or dying from risks associated with unstable clothing storage units tipping over.
The standard covers detached clothing storage units that have a height of at least 27 inches, a minimum mass of 30 pounds, and a volume of at least 3.2 cubic feet or more. This includes:
- Drawer chests
- Door chests
The standard does not cover products such as the following:
- Units for shelving (e.g., bookcases, entertainment furniture)
- Furniture for the office
- Furniture for the dining room
- Jewelry armoires
- Drawer storage units for placement under the bed
- Occasional/accent furniture that is not meant for use in the bedroom
- Units for storing or sorting laundry
- Built-in units that are permanently attached to the building
- “Clothing storage chests”, as defined in ASTM F2598
This standard establishes stability testing methods. It states that for the duration of the test, the clothing storage unit must not tip over or be solely supported by:
- An opened drawer
- An opened door
- An opened, or unopened, flap
According to ASTM, the latest version of the standard (2023) includes changes concerning the safety alert symbols and warning placements.
ASTM F2057 lab testing companies
Here are some companies offering furniture testing according to ASTM F2057: