[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 118 (Monday, June 21, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 35279-35282]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14326]


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CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION

16 CFR Part 1500

RIN 3041-AC77


Revocation of Regulations Banning Certain Baby-Walkers

AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Consumer Product Safety Commission 
(``CPSC'' or ``Commission'') is revoking its existing regulations 
pertaining to baby-walkers because those regulations are being replaced 
by a new and more comprehensive safety standard applicable to baby-
walkers. The new standard is being added by the Commission in a 
separate document published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register.

DATES: Effective December 21, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carolyn Manley, Division of Regulatory 
Enforcement, Office of Compliance, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 
4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-504-7607, 
cmanley@cpsc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    1. The CPSC's regulation for baby-walkers. CPSC regulations at 16 
CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4) ban any ``baby-bouncer,'' ``walker-
jumper,'' ``baby-walker,'' and ``any other similar article'' that does 
not meet specified safety criteria. These regulations were issued in 
1971 by the Food and Drug Administration (``FDA'') under the Federal 
Hazardous Substances Act (``FHSA''), 15 U.S.C. 1261-1278 (available at 
http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/fhsa.pdf). 36 FR 21809 (Nov. 16, 1971). On 
May 14, 1973, the functions under the FHSA were transferred to the then 
newly-created CPSC.
    Specifically, 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) bans baby-walkers, baby-
bouncers, walker-jumpers and ``any other similar article'' that is 
intended to support very young children while ``sitting walking, 
bouncing, jumping, and/or reclining,'' and which, because of its 
design, has any exposed parts capable of causing amputation, crushing, 
lacerations, fractures, hematomas, bruises, or other injuries to 
fingers, toes, or other parts of the anatomy of young children. The 
regulation describes the hazardous design features of such articles 
warranting the ban as including, but not being limited to, one or more 
of the following:
     Areas about the point on each side of the article where 
the frame components are joined together to form an X-shape capable of 
producing a scissoring, shearing, or pinching effect;
     Other areas where two or more parts are joined in such a 
manner as to permit rotational movement capable of exerting a 
scissoring, shearing, or pinching effect;
     Exposed coil springs which may expand sufficiently to 
allow an infant's finger, toe, or other body part to be inserted, in 
whole or in part, and injured by being caught between the coils of the 
spring or between the spring and another part of the article;
     Holes in plates or tubes which also provide the 
possibility of insertion of a finger, toe, or other part of the anatomy 
that could then be injured by the movement of another part of the 
article; or
     A design and construction that permits accidental collapse 
while in use.
    Exemptions to the ban are at 16 CFR 1500.86(a)(4). These include 
any baby-walker (or the other subject products) where:
     The frames are designed and constructed in a manner to 
prevent injury from any scissoring, shearing, or pinching when the 
members of the frame or other components rotate about a common axis or 
fastening point or otherwise move relative to one another; and
     Any coil springs which expand when the article is 
subjected to a force that will extend the spring to its maximum 
distance so that a space between successive coils is greater than one-
eighth inch (0.125 inch) are covered or otherwise designed to prevent 
injuries; and
     All holes larger than one-eighth inch (0.125 inch) in 
diameter, and slots, cracks, or hinged components in any portion of the 
article through which a child could insert, in whole or in part, a 
finger, toe, or any other part of the anatomy, are guarded or otherwise 
designed to prevent injuries; and
     The articles are designed and constructed to prevent 
accidental collapse while in use; and
     The articles are designed and constructed in a manner that 
eliminates from any portion of the article the possibility of 
presenting a mechanical hazard through pinching, bruising, lacerating, 
crushing, breaking, amputating, or otherwise injuring portions of the 
human body when in normal use or when subjected to reasonably 
foreseeable damage or abuse; and
     Any article which is introduced into interstate commerce 
after the effective date of [the regulation] is labeled:
    --With a conspicuous statement of the name and address of the 
manufacturer, packer, distributor, or seller; and
    --With a code mark on the article itself and on the package 
containing the article or on the shipping container, in addition to the 
invoice(s) or shipping document(s), which code mark will permit future 
identification by the manufacturer of any given model (the manufacturer 
shall change the model number whenever the article undergoes a 
significant structural or design modification);
and
     The manufacturer or importer of the article shall make, 
keep, and maintain for 3 years records of sale, distribution, and 
results of inspections and tests conducted in accordance with this 
subparagraph and shall make such records available at all reasonable 
hours upon request by any officer or employee of the Consumer Product 
Safety Commission and shall permit such officer or employee to inspect 
and copy such records, to make such stock inventories as such person 
deems necessary, and to otherwise check the correctness of such 
records.
    The existing regulations do not include any requirements 
specifically

[[Page 35280]]

pertaining to hazards associated with falls down stairs, structural 
integrity, occupant retention, or loading/stability issues.
    As discussed earlier in this part A.1 of this preamble, the 
regulations at 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4) apply to any 
``baby-bouncer,'' ``walker-jumper,'' ``baby-walker,'' and ``any other 
similar article.'' The regulations do not define those terms, and when 
FDA promulgated those regulations in 1971, it expressly rejected 
comments that sought a description of the regulated articles [Ref. 9]. 
(Documents supporting statements in this notice are identified by [Ref. 
], where  is the number of the reference document as 
listed below in section G of this notice.)
    2. Recent statutory changes affecting baby-walkers. The Consumer 
Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (``CPSIA''), Pub. L. No. 110-
314, 122 Stat. 3016 (available at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpsia.pdf), was 
enacted on August 14, 2008. Section 104 of the CPSIA directs the 
Commission to take a number of actions concerning ``durable infant or 
toddler products.'' Section 104(f) of the CPSIA defines a durable 
infant or toddler product as a durable product intended for use, or 
that may be reasonably expected to be used, by children under the age 
of 5 years. This includes cribs, toddler beds, high chairs, booster 
chairs, hook-on chairs, bath seats, gates and other enclosures for 
confining a child, play yards, stationary activity centers, infant 
carriers, strollers, walkers, swings, bassinets, and cradles. Section 
104(b) of the CPSIA provides, in part, that the Commission shall, in 
consultation with representatives of consumer groups, juvenile product 
manufacturers, and independent child product engineers and experts, 
examine and assess the effectiveness of any voluntary consumer product 
safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. The Commission 
also is directed to promulgate consumer product safety standards that 
are substantially the same as such voluntary standards or that are more 
stringent than such voluntary standards if the Commission determines 
that more stringent standards would further reduce the risk of injury 
associated with the products.
    Baby-walkers are one of the first two products addressed in these 
rulemakings. On September 3, 2009, the Commission proposed a safety 
standard for infant walkers. 74 FR 45704. Elsewhere in this issue of 
the Federal Register, the Commission is issuing a new safety standard 
for infant walkers, based largely on the provisions of the current ASTM 
voluntary standard. Given the anticipated new safety standard for 
infant walkers, the Commission, on September 3, 2009, proposed a rule 
to revoke 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4). 74 FR 45714.
    3. The voluntary standard for infant walkers. The current voluntary 
standard for Infant Walkers, The Standard Consumer Safety Specification 
for Infant Walkers (ASTM F977-07) [Ref. 1] is published by the American 
Society for Testing and Materials (now ASTM International, or ASTM). 
The ASTM voluntary standard defines an infant walker as a mobile unit 
that enables a child to move on a horizontal surface when propelled by 
the child sitting or standing within the walker, and that is in the 
manufacturer's recommended use position. This standard has provisions 
to address the following:
     Latching or Locking Mechanisms;
     Openings;
     Scissoring, Shearing, and Pinching;
     Exposed Coil Springs;
     Labeling;
     Protective Components;
     Stability;
     Structural Integrity;
     Occupant Retention; and
     Prevention of Falls Down Step(s).
    ASTM F977-07 contains provisions pertaining to scissoring, 
shearing, pinching, and accidental collapse that are stricter, or more 
conservative, than the existing CPSC regulation. With regard to exposed 
coil springs and openings, the ASTM voluntary standard differs somewhat 
from the existing CPSC regulation.
    The specifications in ASTM F977-07 for coil springs and openings 
(holes) are similar in concept to those in the mandatory regulation, 
but are less restrictive as to allowable dimensions. For instance, the 
voluntary standard prohibits any hole or slot between 0.210'' and 
0.375'' in size that extends entirely through a wall section of any 
rigid material less than 0.375'' thick. The existing regulation bans 
any baby-walker that contains a hole larger than 0.125'' in diameter, 
and it does not contain a depth requirement.
    The rationale for the ASTM standard was based on anthropometric 
data developed for the CPSC by the University of Michigan in 1975. 
(Snyder, R. G., Spencer, M. L., Owings, C. L. & Schneider, L. W. 
(1975), Physical Characteristics of Children As Related to Death and 
Injury for Consumer Product Design and Use, Prepared for the Consumer 
Product Safety Commission (UM-HSRI-BI-75-5 Final Report Contract FDA-
72-70 May 1975), Highway Safety Research Institute, The University of 
Michigan, May 31, 1975.) This data set sampled body measurements of 
children from 2 weeks to 13 years of age. The measurements relevant 
here are the little finger diameter and middle finger diameter. The 
intent of the ASTM standard is to prevent entrapments by making 
openings either too small for the smallest user to penetrate with their 
smallest finger or larger than the largest user's biggest finger 
(thereby allowing the finger to be withdrawn without entrapment). The 
existing CPSC regulations were never revised or updated to take this 
data into consideration. Thus, the requirements in the CPSC regulations 
are outdated in this respect. However, the CPSC regulations also 
provide that hazards presented by holes and by maximum coil spring 
spacing are acceptable if they are ``otherwise designed to prevent 
injuries.'' This allows baby-walkers that comply with the ASTM 
voluntary standard to also comply with the CPSC requirements.

B. Required Accredited Third Party Testing and Certification of Baby-
Walkers

    Section 14(a)(2) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (``CPSA''), 15 
U.S.C. 2063(a)(2) (available at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpsia.pdf), as 
amended by section 102 of the CPSIA, requires manufacturers and private 
labelers of children's products (such as baby-walkers) that are subject 
to a children's product safety rule to submit sufficient samples of the 
children's product, or samples that are identical in all material 
respects to the product, to a CPSC-recognized accredited third party 
conformity assessment body (i.e., testing laboratory) to be tested for 
compliance with any applicable children's product safety rule. (The 
term ``children's product safety rule'' is defined at 15 U.S.C. 
2063(f)(1). See also 15 U.S.C. 2052(a)(5), 2052(a)(6).) For the 
purposes of the CPSA, the term ``manufacturer'' includes an importer. 
15 U.S.C. 2052(a)(11).
    The Commission has issued regulations at 16 CFR 1110 concerning the 
content of certificates of compliance and limiting the parties who must 
issue such certificates to the United States importer and, in the case 
of domestically produced products, the United States manufacturer. 
Based on such testing, the manufacturer and private labeler must issue 
a certificate stating that such children's product complies with the 
children's product safety rule based on the assessment of a third party 
conformity assessment body accredited to conduct such tests.

[[Page 35281]]

    Unless stayed by the Commission, these requirements apply to any 
such children's product that is manufactured more than 90 days after 
the Commission has established and published a notice of the 
requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment 
bodies to assess conformity with any children's product safety rule to 
which such children's product is subject. Section 14(a)(3) of the CPSA, 
15 U.S.C. 2063(a)(3). However, if the Commission determines that an 
insufficient number of third party conformity assessment bodies have 
been accredited to permit certification for a children's product safety 
rule, the Commission may extend the deadline for certification to such 
rule by not more than 60 days. Section 14(a)(3)(F) of the CPSA, 15 
U.S.C. 2063(a)(3)(F).
    Section 14(a)(3) of the CPSA also provides a schedule for the dates 
by which the Commission must publish the notices of the requirements 
for accreditation of third party conformity assessment bodies for 
various children's products. For ``baby bouncers, walkers, and 
jumpers,'' the statute specified that the Commission publish a notice 
of the requirements for accreditation of third party conformity 
assessment bodies ``to assess conformity with parts 1500.18(a)(6) and 
1500.86(a)'' and that such publication occur not later than 210 days 
after the date of enactment of the CPSIA, or March 12, 2009. The 
Commission did not issue that notice of requirements because the 
proposed rule to revoke 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4) made it 
unproductive to issue a notice of requirements that referenced those 
regulations. As noted above, elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register the Commission is issuing a final safety standard for infant 
walkers, 16 CFR part 1216, effective December 21, 2010. Also, the 
Commission is issuing a notice of requirements for testing infant 
walkers for certification to the new safety standard for infant 
walkers. On a schedule to be determined, the Commission also will issue 
a notice of requirements applicable to the current requirements for 
baby-bouncers, walker-jumpers, and similar products.

C. Issues Presented in the Proposal and CPSC's Responses

    In the preamble to the proposed rule (74 FR at 45718), the 
Commission noted that there could be some question about whether there 
are products that fall within 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4), 
but not within any ASTM standard. A possible example of this might be 
jumpers that affix to door frames.
    The Commission specifically invited comments on: (1) Whether there 
are products that are covered by 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 
1500.86(a)(4), but not by any ASTM voluntary standard; (2) whether 
retention of CPSC's current regulations for those specific products is 
warranted; and (3) whether there are specific requirements in 16 CFR 
1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a), but not in any ASTM standard, that 
warrant retention.
    There were no comments filed in the docket for the proposed 
revocation of 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4) (CPSC Docket No. 
CPSC-2009-0066). However, in the companion proposal to issue a new 
safety standard for infant walkers based on ASTM F 977-07 (CPSC Docket 
No. CPSC-2009-0065), one commenter argued that the old regulations 
should still apply to the products other than infant walkers. Another 
commenter, although apparently focusing on a potential time gap between 
revoking the old regulations and issuing the new regulation for infant 
walkers, stated ``we cannot allow for some products to not be covered 
by the safety standard regulations possibly increasing the number of 
injured children.''
    The Commission concludes that it is not in the public interest to 
revoke the existing requirements of 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 
1500.86(a)(4) as they apply to baby-bouncers, walker-jumpers, and any 
other similar article except baby-walkers. Having these requirements 
will make it easier to obtain a recall or other corrective actions if 
products that present a hazard due to a failure to meet some existing 
requirement. Any negative effect of having particular dimensions 
specified in these regulations that are based on outdated 
anthropometric data is neutralized by the provision in the regulations 
that allows products that are ``otherwise designed to prevent 
injuries.'' The Commission would consider an effective requirement 
based on current anthropometric data to be designed to prevent 
injuries. Accordingly, only the requirements in 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) 
and 1500.86(a) that apply to baby-walkers are being revoked.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose any information collection requirements. 
Accordingly, this rule is not subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 
44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

E. Environmental Considerations

    This rule falls within the scope of the Commission's environmental 
review regulation at 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(1), which provides a categorical 
exclusion from any requirement for the agency to prepare an 
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for rules 
that revoke product safety standards. Accordingly, neither an 
environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is 
required.

F. Effective Date

    The preamble to the proposed rule specified that the revocation of 
the existing regulations would be effective upon the date of 
termination of the stay of testing and certification requirements 
originally announced in the Federal Register of February 9, 2009 (74 FR 
6396), or upon the effective date of the new mandatory standard, 
whichever occurs first (see 74 FR at 45718). The reason that the 
proposed revocation could become effective upon the termination of the 
stay of testing and certification, even though the new mandatory 
standard was not yet issued, was to prevent firms from having to test 
and certify infant walkers to a standard that would shortly be replaced 
by a newer, more comprehensive one.
    After the proposal was published in the Federal Register, the 
Commission extended the stay for many children's products, including 
baby-walkers, baby-bouncers, walker-jumpers, and similar products, to 
90 days after the Commission issues a notice of requirements for the 
applicable regulatory requirement [Ref. 12]. Because the Commission 
will not be issuing a notice of requirements for testing and certifying 
baby-walkers to the standards in 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 
1500.86(a)(4), no testing or certification to those standards will be 
required. Accordingly, the revocation of the provisions of those 
standards applicable to baby-walkers can become effective on the 
effective date of the new mandatory standard for infant walkers without 
requiring any testing under the old standard. Testing and certification 
to the requirements of 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4) as they 
apply to the products other than baby walkers will be required 90 days 
after the Commission publishes a notice of requirements for those 
products at some future date.

G. References

    1. ASTM voluntary standard F 977-07, Standard Consumer Safety 
Specification for Infant Walkers.
    2. Memorandum from P. Edwards, Project Manager, to the Commission, 
``Notice of Proposed Rulemaking--Recommending the Revocation of CPSC

[[Page 35282]]

Regulation for Baby Bouncers, Walker-Jumpers, and Baby-Walkers, 16 CFR 
Sec.  1500.18(a)(6) and Sec.  1500.86(a)(4),'' dated August 14, 2009.
    3. Snyder, R.G., Spencer, M.L., Owings, C.L. & Schneider, L.W. 
(1975), Physical Characteristics of Children As Related to Death and 
Injury for Consumer Product Design and Use, Prepared for the Consumer 
Product Safety Commission (UM-HSRI-BI-75-5 Final Report Contract FDA-
72-70 May 1975), Highway Safety Research Institute, The University of 
Michigan, May 31, 1975.
    4. ASTM voluntary standard F 2012, Standard Consumer Safety 
Performance Specifications for Stationary Activity Centers.
    5. ASTM voluntary standard F 2167, Standard Consumer Safety 
Specification for Infant Bouncer Seats.
    6. CPSC staff memorandum to Jacqueline Elder, Assistant Executive 
Director, Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction, from Patricia 
Hackett, Division of Mechanical Engineering, ``Regulatory Review of 
CPSC Regulation for Baby Bouncers, Walker-Jumpers, and Baby-Walkers, 16 
CFR Sec. Sec.  1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4),'' dated April 24, 2007.
    7. CPSC staff memorandum from Mark E. Kumagai, Director, Division 
of Mechanical Engineering, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, 
``Staff Draft Proposed Final Rule--Revocation of CPSC Regulation for 
Baby-Walkers, 16 CFR 1500.18(a)(6) and 1500.86(a)(4),'' May 5, 2010.
    8. 36 FR 7255-56 (April 16, 1971).
    9. 36 FR 21809-10 (Nov. 16, 1971).
    10. 73 FR 68328 (Nov. 18, 2008).
    11. 74 FR 6396 (Feb. 9, 2009).
    12. 74 FR 68588 (Dec. 28, 2009).

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 1500

    Baby walkers, Consumer protection, Hazardous substances, Imports, 
Infants and children, Labeling, Law enforcement, Toys.

0
For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission amends 16 CFR part 1500 as follows:

PART 1500--HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES AND ARTICLES; ADMINISTRATION AND 
ENFORCEMENT REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for 16 CFR part 1500 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 1261-1278.


0
2. Amend Sec.  1500.18(a)(6) introductory text by revising the first 
sentence to read as follows:


Sec.  1500.18  Banned toys and other banned articles intended for use 
by children.

    (a) * * *
    (6) Any article known as a ``baby-bouncer'' or ``walker-jumper'' 
and any other similar article (referred to in this paragraph as 
``article(s)''), except an infant walker subject to part 1216, which is 
intended to support very young children while sitting, bouncing, 
jumping, and/or reclining, and which because of its design has any 
exposed parts capable of causing amputation, crushing, lacerations, 
fractures, hematomas, bruises, or other injuries to fingers, toes, or 
other parts of the anatomy of young children.


0
3. Amend Sec.  1500.86 by revising paragraph (a)(4) introductory text 
to read as follows:


Sec.  1500.86  Exemptions from classification as a banned toy or other 
banned article for use by children.

    (a) * * *
    (4) Any article known as a ``baby-bouncer'' or ``walker-jumper'' 
and any other similar article (referred to in this paragraph as 
``article(s)''), except an infant walker subject to part 1216 of this 
chapter, described in Sec.  1500.18(a)(6) provided:
* * * * *

    Dated: June 9, 2010.
Todd Stevenson,
Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2010-14326 Filed 6-18-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6355-01-P