[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 141 (Wednesday, July 23, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 42724-42734]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-16792]


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CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION

16 CFR Parts 1112 and 1228

[Docket No. CPSC-2014-0018]


Safety Standard for Sling Carriers

AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, 
Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 
(CPSIA), requires the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission 
(Commission or CPSC) to promulgate consumer product safety standards 
for durable infant or toddler products. These standards are to be 
``substantially the same as'' applicable voluntary standards or more 
stringent than the voluntary standard if the Commission concludes that 
more stringent requirements would further reduce the risk of injury 
associated with the product. The Commission is proposing a safety 
standard for sling carriers in response to the direction under Section 
104(b) of the CPSIA.

DATES: Submit comments by October 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (PRA) aspects of the marking, labeling, and instructional 
literature of the proposed rule to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: CPSC Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-6974, or 
emailed to: oira_submission@omb.eop.gov.
    You may submit other comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2014-
0018, by any of the following methods:
    Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments to the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept 
comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through 
www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic 
comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.
    Written Submissions: Submit written submissions by mail/hand 
delivery/courier to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety 
Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; 
telephone (301) 504-7923.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted 
without change, including any personal identifiers, contact 
information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, 
trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information 
that you do not want to be available to the public. If furnished at 
all, such information should be submitted in writing.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov, and insert the 
docket number CPSC-2014-0018, into the ``Search'' box, and follow the 
prompts.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hope E J. Nesteruk, Project Manager, 
Division of Human Factors, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, 
Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 
20850; telephone: 301-987-2579; email: hnesteruk@cpsc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Statutory Authority

    The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA, Pub. L. 
110-314) was enacted on August 14, 2008. Section 104(b) of the CPSIA, 
part of the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, 
requires the Commission to: (1) Examine and assess the effectiveness of 
voluntary consumer product safety standards for durable infant or 
toddler products, in consultation with representatives of consumer 
groups, juvenile product manufacturers, and independent child product 
engineers and experts; and (2) promulgate consumer product safety 
standards for durable infant and toddler products. These standards are 
to be ``substantially the same as'' applicable

[[Page 42725]]

voluntary standards or more stringent than the voluntary standard if 
the Commission concludes that more stringent requirements would further 
reduce the risk of injury associated with the product. Section 
104(f)(1) of the CPSIA defines the term ``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.'' 
Section 104(f)(1)(H) provides that the term ``durable infant or toddler 
product'' includes ``infant carriers.''
    Section 104 also requires manufacturers of durable infant or 
toddler products to comply with a registration program that the 
Commission establishes. Section 104(d).
    In this document, the Commission is proposing a safety standard for 
sling carriers. Section 104(f)(2)(H) of the CPSIA lists ``infant 
carriers'' as one of the categories of durable infant or toddler 
products identified for purposes of section 104. As indicated by a 
review of ASTM's standards and retailers' Web sites, the category of 
``infant carriers'' includes hand-held infant carriers, soft infant 
carriers, frame backpack carriers, and sling carriers. The Commission 
has issued final rules for hand-held infant carriers (78 FR 73415 
(December 6, 2013)) and soft infant carriers (78 FR 20511 (April 5, 
2013)) and a proposed rule on frame backpack carriers (79 FR 28458 (May 
16, 2014)). In the Commission's product registration card rule 
identifying additional products that the Commission considered durable 
infant or toddler products necessitating compliance with the product 
registration card requirements, the Commission specifically identified 
infant slings, or sling carriers, as a durable infant or toddler 
product. 76 FR 68668 (December 29, 2009). The durability of infant 
slings is discussed in section II.B. of this document.
    Because the voluntary standard on infant slings, ASTM 2907-14a, 
``Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Sling Carriers,'' refers 
to ``infant slings'' as ``sling carriers,'' the notice of proposed 
rulemaking refers to infant slings as ``sling carriers.'' The terms are 
intended to be interchangeable and have the same meaning.
    Pursuant to Section 104(b)(1)(A), the Commission consulted with 
manufacturers, retailers, trade organizations, laboratories, consumer 
advocacy groups, consultants, and members of the public in the 
development of this proposed standard, largely through the ASTM 
process. CPSC staff participated in the ASTM sling carrier subcommittee 
meetings and task group meetings and worked with the ASTM sling carrier 
task groups to develop ballot language for revisions to the sling 
carrier voluntary standard. The proposed rule is based on the voluntary 
standard developed by ASTM International (formerly the American Society 
for Testing and Materials), ASTM F2907-14a, ``Standard Consumer Safety 
Specification for Sling Carriers'' (ASTM F2907-14a), without change.
    The ASTM standard is copyrighted, but the standard is available as 
a read-only document during the comment period on this proposal only, 
at: http://www.astm.org/cpsc, by permission of ASTM.

II. Product Description

A. Definition of Sling Carrier

    ASTM F2907-14a ``Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Sling 
Carriers'' defines a ``sling carrier'' as ``a product of fabric or sewn 
fabric construction, which is designed to contain a child in an upright 
or reclined position while being supported by the caregiver's torso.'' 
These products generally are intended for children starting at full-
term birth until a weight of about 35 pounds. The designs of infant 
slings vary, but the designs generally range from unstructured hammock-
shaped products that suspend from the caregiver's body, to long lengths 
of material or fabric that are wrapped around the caregiver's body. 
Infant slings normally are worn with the infant positioned on the 
front, hip, or back of the consumer, and with the infant facing toward 
or away from the consumer. As stated in the sling carrier definition, 
these products generally allow the infant to be placed in an upright or 
reclined position. However, the reclined position is intended to be 
used only when the infant is worn on the front of the consumer. The 
ability to carry the infant in a reclined position is the primary 
feature that distinguishes sling carriers from soft infant and toddler 
carriers, another subset of sling carriers.
    The Commission identified three broad classes of sling carrier 
products available in the United States:
     Ring slings are hammock-shaped fabric products, in which 
one runs fabric through two rings to adjust and tighten the sling.
     Pouch slings are similar to ring slings but do not use 
rings for adjustment. Many pouch slings are sized rather than designed 
to be adjustable. Other pouch slings are more structured and use 
buckles or other fasteners to adjust the size.
     Wrap slings are generally composed of a long length of 
fabric, upwards of six yards long, and up to two feet wide. A wrap 
sling is completely unstructured with no fasteners or other means of 
structure; instead, the caregiver uses different methods of wrapping 
the material around the caregiver's body and the child's body to 
support the child. Wrap-like slings mimic the manner in which a wrap 
supports the child but use fabric in other manners, such as loops, to 
reduce the need for caregivers to learn wrapping methods.

Ring slings, modifications of wraps and pouch slings, and other 
products that meet the definition of a sling carrier contain parts that 
are also considered durable from an engineering perspective and suggest 
they were selected for long-term use. In addition, the test methods in 
ASTM F2907-14a combine to ensure that slings meet a minimum level of 
durability.

    ASTM F2907 does not distinguish among the type of slings. The 
voluntary standard's requirements apply equally to all slings.

B. Sling Carrier Use

    ASTM F2907-14a states that sling carriers generally are intended 
for children starting at full-term birth, until a weight of about 35 
pounds (15.9 kg). According to the data tables used to produce the 2000 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) U.S. growth charts, 
the median (50th percentile) weight of a child does not exceed 35 
pounds until about 46 months for boys and 49 months for girls (CDC, 
2000). Moreover, the 5th percentile bodyweight of a child does not 
exceed 35 pounds until about 65 months for boys and 69 months for 
girls. This means that more than half of all 3-year-olds are likely to 
be at or below the maximum weight of 35 pounds, and that even some 5-
year-olds are likely to be at or below this upper weight limit. 
Although the Commission believes that sling carriers are most likely to 
be used with infants, it seems reasonably foreseeable that some portion 
of the user population will use these carriers with preschool-aged 
children.
    Evidence suggests that sling carriers are often reused for multiple 
children. For example, according to a 2005 survey conducted by the 
American Baby Group (2006 Baby Products Tracking Study), nearly one-
third (31 percent) of mothers who own slings had a sling that was 
handed down or purchased secondhand. Preliminary data from CPSC's 
Durable Nursery Products Exposure Survey found that 21 percent of sling 
owners acquired the sling used. The Survey also found that after the 
owner discontinued use of the sling,

[[Page 42726]]

only 4 percent threw away the sling; 96 percent of owners stored the 
sling for future use, sold the sling, gave the sling away, or returned 
the sling to the original owner. These results suggest that most sling 
owners at least perceive sling carriers to have a future useful life, 
even if the sling had been used previously.
    The Commission is aware of several online Web sites, forums, and 
``babywearing'' groups dedicated to buying, selling, and trading 
previously used sling carriers. (``Babywearing'' is commonly used to 
describe the wearing or carrying of a baby in a sling or similar 
carrier.) For example, a simple search of sold listings for a used 
``baby sling'' on eBay resulted in more than 1,700 listings during a 
roughly 3-month period. Although some of the products in these ads do 
not meet the definition of a ``sling carrier,'' a brief examination of 
the most recent 200 sales suggests that a very large percentage of 
these products would be considered a sling carrier. Thus, many 
consumers appear to be purchasing slings secondhand.

C. Market Description

    The Commission has identified 47 suppliers to the U.S. market, but 
there may be hundreds more suppliers that produce small quantities of 
slings. (The Commission made these determinations using information 
from Dun & Bradstreet and Reference USAGov, as well as firm Web sites.) 
Web sites such as Etsy show thousands of listings for artisans 
producing slings and wraps (although each firm may have multiple 
listings), which accounts for additional suppliers who are not among 
the 47 suppliers identified. Sling carriers are distributed by a 
variety of methods, such as mass merchandisers, small specialty 
juvenile products stores, and Internet-only distributors.
    Of the 47 sling carrier suppliers identified, 33 companies are 
based in the United States: 25 are manufacturers, and four are 
importers. Available information does not identify the supply source 
for four firms. There are also 14 foreign companies that export 
directly to the United States via Internet sales or directly to U.S. 
retailers.
    A sling carrier is an uncomplicated product to produce, typically 
requiring only fabric, thread, rings (and in some cases, fasteners), 
and a sewing machine. A common scenario for a sling manufacturer starts 
with a mother using various slings or soft carriers and then deciding 
to make her own design in her home. Some of these home businesses grow 
into larger businesses that become more specialized and sophisticated, 
typically designing and marketing their own products but having the 
product manufactured overseas. However, the newer home businesses may 
be relatively unsophisticated and may not be aware of the sling carrier 
voluntary standard effort or know that sling carriers may be subject to 
existing federal regulations on children's products.
    According to a the 2006 Baby Products Tracking Study, 17 percent of 
new mothers own sling carriers. As noted previously, approximately 31 
percent of sling carriers were handed down or purchased secondhand. 
Thus, about 69 percent of sling carriers were acquired new. (The data 
collected for the Baby Products Tracking Study do not represent an 
unbiased statistical sample. American Baby Products surveyed potential 
respondents from its mailing lists to generate a sample of 3,600 new 
and expectant mothers. Additionally, because the most recent survey 
information is from 2005, the data may not reflect the current market.) 
This information suggests annual sales of about 471,000 sling carriers 
(.17 x .69 x 4 million births per year), with prices ranging from $30 
to around $150. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health 
Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, ``Births: Final Data for 
2009,'' National Vital Statistics Reports Volume 61, Number 1 (August 
28, 2012): Table I. Number of births in 2010 is rounded from 
3,999,386.)
    However, this sales estimate may be a substantial underestimate for 
two reasons: (1) Industry sources state that slings have increased in 
popularity since the survey was done in 2005; and (2) other products 
like wraps, pouches, and some soft carriers, which fall under the 
standard, may not have been included in the Baby Products Tracking 
study. Based on discussions with an industry representative, sales of 
these other products that fall under the proposed rule for sling 
carriers could increase the Commission's sales estimate to about 
600,000 to 1 million units annually.

III. Incident Data

    The Commission is aware of a total of 122 incidents (16 fatal and 
106 nonfatal) related to sling carriers, which were reported to have 
occurred from January 1, 2003 through October 27, 2013. Because 
reporting is ongoing, the number of reported fatalities, nonfatal 
injuries, and non-injury incidents may change in the future. Given that 
reporting is incomplete, the Commission strongly discourages drawing 
inferences based on the year-to-year increase or decrease shown in the 
reported data. (The CPSC databases searched were the In-Depth 
Investigation (INDP) file, the Injury or Potential Injury Incident 
(IPII) file, the Death Certificate (DTHS) file, and the National 
Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). These reported deaths 
and incidents do not provide a complete count of all deaths and 
incidents that occurred during that time period. However, they do 
provide a minimum number of deaths and incidents occurring during this 
time period and illustrate the circumstances involved in the incidents 
related to sling carriers.)
    Among the incidents in which age was reported, all but one of the 
children were 12 months old or younger; the age of the oldest child was 
reported to be 3 years. Some incident reports did not indicate the age 
because there was no injury involved or age was unknown. Table 1 
provides the age breakdown as reported in the 122 incidents.

                    Table 1--Age Distribution as Reported in Sling Carrier-Related Incidents
                                               [01/01/03-10/27/13]
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                                                          All Incidents             Fatal and Nonfatal Injuries
                  Age of Child                  ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Frequency       Percentage       Frequency      Percentage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unreported*....................................              31              25                1               1
One--Three Months..............................              70              57               54              77
Four--Six Months...............................              11               9                8              11
Seven--Nine Months.............................               7               6                4               6
Ten--Twelve Months.............................               2               2                2               3
Three Years....................................               1               1                1               1
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 42727]]

 
    Total......................................             122             100               70            100
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Source: CPSC epidemiological databases IPII, INDP, DTHS, and NEISS.
Note: Percentages do not add to 100 due to rounding.
*: Age was unknown or the incident reported no injury.

A. Fatalities

    CPSC received reports of 16 fatalities associated with the use of a 
sling carrier that occurred during the period from January 1, 2003 
through October 27, 2013. Eleven of the 16 decedents were 1-month olds; 
the remaining five were between 3- and 5-months old. Nine of the 
decedents were described as having died of smothering, (also known as 
``suffocation,'' or ``positional asphyxia.'') Suffocation can occur 
when babies are contained entirely within the pouch of a sling. Infants 
who are placed with their heads below the rim of the sling are likely 
to stay in the same position because they are surrounded by unyielding 
fabric under the tension of their weight, and are tightly confined 
within the product, typically with their faces directed towards or held 
against the parent's body. The highest risk of suffocation occurs when 
the infant's face (nose and mouth) is pressed against the mother's 
body, blocking the infant's breathing, and rapidly suffocating the baby 
within a few minutes. The cause of death was undetermined for the 
remaining decedents.
    One fatal victim was 5 months old. The age range of the remaining 
15 fatal victims was from birth to 3 months; 11 infants were ages 1 
month and younger, and the remaining four were 3 months old. Infants 
younger than 4 months old are at a high risk for suffocation because 
they have relatively immature physiological systems controlling 
breathing and arousal.

B. Nonfatalities

    Of the 106 sling carrier-related nonfatal incidents that were 
reported to have occurred from January 1, 2003 through October 27, 
2013, 54 reports reflected an injury to the infant during use of the 
product. Age was unreported for one of the injured, and one report 
stated that a 3-year-old was injured. For the rest of the incidents, 
the child's age ranged from 1 month to 11 months.
    Among the 54 reported nonfatal injuries, nine were reported as 
involving hospitalizations. Among the hospitalizations, one injury was 
described as a permanent brain injury due to breathing difficulties 
suffered by the infant. The rest of the hospitalizations were serious 
head injuries, such as a fracture and/or brain hemorrhage, which 
resulted from infants falling from the carrier. Eleven additional 
skull/face/wrist fracture injuries were reported, but none of these 
incidents was reported to involve hospitalizations. The remaining non-
hospitalized injuries included closed-head injuries, contusions/
abrasions, lacerations/scratches, among others. (A closed head injury 
is a head injury where the skull remained intact. A closed head injury 
can range from a minor bump to the head to a severe life threatening 
traumatic brain injury.) A majority of the injuries resulted from falls 
from the carrier; most of these falls resulted from the caregiver 
slipping, tripping, or bending over while carrying the infant in the 
sling. The remaining injuries were due to miscellaneous product-related 
issues or other caregiver missteps, such as the caregiver not allowing 
enough safety clearance for the child in the sling carrier while the 
caregiver performed daily activities.
    The remaining 52 incident reports stated that no injury had 
occurred or provided no information about any injury.

C. Hazard Pattern Identification

    The Commission considered all 122 reported incidents (16 fatal and 
106 nonfatal) to identify hazard patterns associated with sling 
carriers. In order of frequency of incident reports, the Commission 
grouped the hazard patterns into the following categories:
    1. Problems with the positioning of the infant in the sling 
carrier: Thirty-one of the 122 reported incidents (25 percent) were in 
this category. Among them were nine deaths due to smothering, one 
permanent brain impairment injury due to breathing difficulty, and two 
other injuries--one related to breathing difficulty and the other 
related to blood-circulation in the infant's leg. The rest of the 
incidents reported that the infant suffered breathing problems while in 
the carrier or that the caregiver had difficulty safely positioning the 
infant in the sling carrier to avoid the potential for suffocation.
    2. Caregiver missteps: Twenty of the 28 incidents (23 percent) in 
this category were reported to have occurred when the caregiver 
slipped, tripped, or bent over, causing the infant in the sling to 
either fall with the caregiver or fall out of the carrier. Eight 
additional incidents among the 28 reported in this category occurred 
when caregivers dropped the infant during placement into/removal out of 
the carrier or failed to provide enough safety clearance for the infant 
in the carrier as the caregivers conducted their daily activities. 
Examples of the latter scenario include an infant getting struck by a 
door or a falling object, or an infant hitting a wall. Although these 
28 incidents did not involve any fatalities, all but one incident 
resulted in an injury to the infant. These incidents included 11 
reports of skull fractures and one report of bleeding in the brain. 
Other injuries included closed-head injuries, contusions of the head/
leg/back, and a finger laceration.
    3. Undetermined or unspecified cause: Twenty five reported 
incidents (20 percent) included seven fatalities, two hospitalized 
injuries, and 13 non-hospitalized injuries, with very little 
information available on the circumstances leading to the incidents. 
The official reports did not indicate a specific cause of death. Among 
the injuries, which included fractures of the skull/wrist, as well as 
other serious head injuries, most were reported through hospital 
emergency departments with very little scenario-specific information.
    4. Problems with buckles: Twelve of the 122 incidents (10 percent) 
reported buckles releasing, slipping, or breaking, causing infants to 
fall or nearly fall. There was one hospitalization for a skull fracture 
and two non-hospitalized injuries. There were no fatalities in this 
category.
    5. Miscellaneous product-related issues: There were nine incident 
reports (seven percent) in which consumers complained of a design flaw 
posing a possible strangulation hazard, a broken

[[Page 42728]]

component, rough fabric, or a sharp surface; or consumers indicated an 
unspecified product failure. Although these reports did not include any 
fatalities, there were six injuries reported in this category, 
including one skull fracture.
    6. Consumer comments: There were 17 non-event reports (14 percent) 
of consumer comments or observations of perceived safety hazards. In 
most of these cases, the consumer did not own the sling carrier in 
question. None of these reports indicates that any event actually 
occurred.

D. Product Recalls

    Since January 1, 2003, the CPSC has issued five consumer-level 
recalls involving sling carriers. All five recalls were for product 
defects that created a substantial product hazard and resulted in the 
recall of about 1.1 million sling carriers. Two of the recalled 
products posed a suffocation hazard, while three recalls were related 
to structural integrity and fall or potential fall hazards.

IV. Other Standards

A. International Standards

    The Commission identified one European standard that covers fabric 
carriers without rigid structure. In addition, a guideline for sling 
carriers is under development in Europe.
    1. British Standard EN13209-2:2005, Child Use and Care Articles--
Baby Carriers--Safety Requirements and Test Methods--Part 2: Soft 
Carriers (27 September 2005), is the European standard for soft, fabric 
carriers. However, EN13209 specifically states that the scope is 
intended for a ``product [that] has holes designed to accommodate the 
child's legs.'' Sling carriers do not have holes through which a 
child's legs pass. Although some individual requirements in the EN13209 
standard may be more stringent than those in F2907-14a, the reported 
incidents do not suggest that these are prevalent hazard patterns 
associated with sling carriers. Therefore, the Commission does not 
believe that incorporating these more stringent requirements would 
further reduce the risk of injury associated with sling carriers.
    2. CEN/TR 16512, Child use and care articles--Guidelines for the 
safety of children's slings, is a guideline that is under development 
in Europe. However, because this guideline, once completed would not be 
a standard, CEN/TR 16512 is not an option for consideration. The 
Commission expects that this guideline, when published, will contain 
recommendations similar to EN13209, but with recommendations adapted 
for the unique attributes of sling carriers.
    The Commission notes that the ASTM F15.21 subcommittee has worked 
to make F2907 the most appropriate standard for the unique nature of 
sling carriers by harmonizing with other standards (e.g., EN13209 and 
ASTM F2236), when appropriate, but also addressing the uniqueness of 
sling carriers, when needed. The Commission believes that ASTM F2907-
14a is the most comprehensive standard that addresses the incident 
hazard patterns and that F2907-14a adequately addresses the hazards 
identified to date.
Voluntary Standard--ASTM F2907
1. Description of Standard
    ASTM F2907, ``Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification 
for Sling Carriers,'' establishes safety performance requirements, test 
methods, and labeling requirements to minimize the hazards to children 
presented by sling carriers. ASTM first published a consumer product 
safety standard for sling carriers in 2012. ASTM has revised the 
voluntary standard five times since then. The current version, ASTM 
F2907-14a, was approved on February 15, 2014, and published in March 
2014. ASTM F15.21 subcommittee issued a ballot on May 16, 2014, that 
proposed a modification in the occupant retention test pass/fail 
criteria. According to the ballot, ``the current Occupant Retention 
test criteria (section 6.3) are not accurately separating good ring 
slings from poorly-constructed ring slings.'' The modification ASTM has 
proposed would increase from 1 inch to 3 inches the amount the ring 
sling attachment system may slip while still passing the standard. At 
the time of writing, the Commission does not have sufficient 
information to assess this change. Staff welcomes comments on the 
issue.
    The current version of the sling carrier standard, ASTM F2907-14a, 
contains requirements to address the following issues:
     Laundering;
     Hazardous sharp points or edges;
     Small parts;
     Lead in paint;
     Wood parts;
     Locking and latching;
     Openings;
     Scissoring, shearing, and pinching;
     Monofilament threads;
     Flammability;
     Marking and labeling; and
     Instructional literature.
    In addition, F2907-14a includes construction, quality, and 
durability test methods that are specific to sling carriers in the 
static, dynamic, occupant retention, and restraint system tests. These 
test methods combine to ensure that slings meet a minimum level of 
durability.
     Static load test: This test checks that the sling can 
support the sling's maximum recommended weight with a safety factor of 
three, by gradually applying a weight of three times the manufacturer's 
maximum recommended weight, or 60 lbs., whichever is greater, in the 
support area of the sling, and maintain the weight for one minute.
     Dynamic load test: This test assesses the durability of 
the sling and proper functioning of the sling's fasteners by dropping a 
35-lb. load into the sling's support area in each recommended carrying 
position every 4 seconds for up to 1,000 cycles.
     Occupant retention test: This test assesses whether the 
sling retains the occupant as the caregiver moves about. The test also 
assesses the sling's durability. The sling is attached to a test torso, 
and a test mass is placed in the sling. The test torso will move up and 
down at a rate of two times per second (approximately a brisk walking 
speed). The sling is tested to determine whether the adjustment 
mechanisms (e.g. rings, knots) release.
     Restraint system test: This test assesses whether any 
child restraints used by the sling are sufficient. Each restraint 
system is tested with a 45-lb. force on the restraint and again with a 
CAMI dummy. The anchorages for the restraint system are not to separate 
from their attachment points during or after testing.
2. Adequacy of Requirements in Addressing Identifiable Hazard Patterns
    Positioning. The Commission identified positioning as the primary 
hazard pattern in 31 cases. This includes nine deaths due to 
smothering, one permanent brain impairment injury due to breathing 
difficulty, and two other injuries--one related to breathing difficulty 
and the other related to blood circulation in the infant's leg.
    As noted previously, the Commission identified suffocation/asphyxia 
related to positioning as a risk associated with sling carriers. 
Suffocation can occur when babies are contained entirely within the 
pouch of a sling. The highest risk of suffocation occurs when the 
infant's face (nose and mouth) is pressed against the mother's body, 
blocking the infant's breathing and rapidly suffocating a baby within a 
few minutes. Furthermore, because of its shape and lack of support, a 
sling carrier can facilitate an infant being positioned

[[Page 42729]]

within the confines of the sling in a manner that causes acute neck 
hyper-flexion (chin touching the chest). Infants found in this 
compromised position are likely to stay in the position because infant 
neck muscles are too weak to support the weight of their head. Infants 
who stay for prolonged periods of time in this position can experience 
compromised airflow to the lungs, resulting in an inadequate supply of 
oxygen to the brain. Oxygen deprivation to the brain can lead to loss 
of consciousness and death.
    Although there is no performance test for positioning in ASTM 
F2907-14a, ASTM F2907-14a requires statements in the warnings and 
instructions for sling carriers to caution against the hazards 
identified by the Commission through examination of the sling carrier 
incidents. Section 8.3.3 of F2907-14a specifies the warnings that must 
appear on each sling and addresses each of the hazard patterns the 
Commission found in the suffocation data. In short, all sling carriers 
must: (1) Include a safety alert symbol

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP23JY14.002

and the signal word ``WARNING,'' (2) warn that failure to follow the 
manufacturer's instructions can result in ``death or serious injury,'' 
(3) state the minimum and maximum recommended weights for the sling, 
and (4) warn about the potential suffocation and fall hazards 
associated with sling carriers.
    More specifically, according to ASTM F2097-14a, the warnings that 
pertain to suffocation and positioning must address:
     the risk of suffocation to infants younger than 4 months 
if the infant's face is pressed against the caregiver's body within the 
confines of the sling and the increased risk of suffocation to infants 
born prematurely or those with respiratory problems;
     the need to check often to make sure that the infant's 
face remains uncovered, clearly visible to the caregiver, and away from 
the caregiver's body at all times;
     the importance of making sure that the infant does not 
curl into a position with the chin resting on or near the infant's 
chest, which can interfere with breathing even when nothing is covering 
the nose or mouth;
     the need to reposition the infant after nursing so the 
infant's face is not pressed against the caregiver's body; and
     the importance of never using the sling with infants 
smaller than 8 pounds, without seeking the advice of a healthcare 
professional.

Lastly, the warning label prescribed by ASTM F2907-14a must include a 
pictogram that illustrates proper and improper infant positioning 
within the sling. ASTM F2907-14a includes an example of the type of 
pictogram sought but does not specify a particular design.

    Section 9 of ASTM F2907-14a specifies what instructional literature 
must be provided with the sling. This section requires that the 
instructions contain an image of each manufacturer's recommended 
carrying position, include all of the warning statements that are 
required to appear on the sling, and provide several additional 
instructions.
    ASTM subcommittees for other durable nursery product standards have 
also tried to address positioning hazards related to a C-shaped curl in 
an infant's head, neck, and torso area; however, there has been no 
repeatable performance test identified. The Commission attempted to 
address the positioning hazard associated with sling carriers in a new 
manner, based on the recognition that a sling carrier is worn by the 
caregiver and involves direct contact with the caregiver, thereby 
allowing for the possibility of the caregiver seeing a child who is in 
distress. Specifically, the Commission explored a ``face exposure'' 
test that, at a minimum, could keep a sling from preventing the 
caregiver from observing the infant's face. The Commission pursued this 
possible test with the ASTM task group but found that the available 
anthropomorphic mannequins, e.g., CAMI dummies, do not accurately 
represent the manner in which a child sits in a sling, and that the 
variable nature of sling products makes the repeatability of a test 
questionable. Together with the ASTM task group, the Commission 
concluded that a test to address positioning hazards is technically 
infeasible at this point.
    Ultimately, the Commission concluded that warning requirements 
about proper and improper infant positioning present in ASTM F2907-14a 
is the only feasible hazard-mitigation strategy at this time. The 
Commission will continue to consider possible performance requirements 
pertaining to this issue and will pursue such an approach with the ASTM 
Subcommittee in the future, if an approach becomes feasible. Because 
there is no feasible performance test and because the warning 
statements in ASTM F2907 were developed considering both known hazard 
patterns for sling carriers and established practices for warning 
labels, the Commission believes that the warnings and instructions 
published in ASTM F2907-14a are adequate to inform caregivers about how 
to reduce the likelihood of positioning incidents.
    Caregiver Missteps. Incidents involving caregiver missteps included 
11 reports of skull fractures and one episode of bleeding in the brain. 
Other injuries included closed head injuries, contusions of the head/
leg/back, and a finger laceration. The Commission determined that these 
incidents were related directly to the actions, often accidental, of 
the caregiver. Examples include a caregiver slipping or tripping while 
wearing the sling carrier with the child inside, or incidental contact 
occurring between the child and an object, such as a door or wall. 
Although these types of incidents cannot be addressed directly through 
a performance test, the standard addresses these incidents by alerting 
caregivers of the hazard and making sure that the sling contains the 
infant. ASTM F2907-14a requires the following statement to appear on 
the on-product label to address the fall hazard to infants associated 
with ``caregiver missteps,'' such as tripping or bending over:
    FALL HAZARD--Leaning, bending over, or tripping can cause baby to 
fall. Keep one hand on baby while moving.
    In addition, the occupant retention test in ASTM F2907-14a is 
intended to reduce the likelihood that the child will fall out of the 
sling due to a caregiver misstep. ASTM F2907-14a requires the test mass 
to be contained within the sling for the duration of the test.
    Buckles. Twelve of the incidents involved buckles releasing, 
slipping, or breaking, and included a hospitalization for a skull 
fracture and two non-hospitalized injuries. ASTM F2907-14a addresses 
this hazard in several ways, using the static, dynamic, occupant 
retention, and restraint system tests. For the reasons described 
previously, the Commission believes that the performance tests in 
F2907-14a adequately address hazards associated with buckle failure.

V. Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requires that the effective 
date of the rule be at least 30 days after publication of the final 
rule, 5 U.S.C. 553(d). The Commission generally considers 6 months 
sufficient time for suppliers to come into compliance with a proposed 
durable infant and toddler product rule. Six months is the period the 
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) typically allows for 
products in JPMA's certification program to shift to a new voluntary 
standard once that new voluntary standard is published. Therefore,

[[Page 42730]]

juvenile product manufacturers are accustomed to adjusting to new 
standards with this time frame. However, in this instance, a large 
number of very small suppliers potentially will experience significant 
economic impacts complying with the rule. In addition, because ASTM 
F2907 has only been in existence for approximately 2 years, there is 
relatively little information regarding compliance with the voluntary 
standard. Thus, the Commission is proposing a 12-month effective date. 
The Commission invites comment on whether 12 months is an appropriate 
length of time for sling carrier manufacturers to come into compliance 
with the rule.

VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires agencies to review 
proposed rules for a rule's potential economic impact on small 
entities, including small businesses. Section 603 of the RFA generally 
requires that agencies prepare an initial regulatory flexibility 
analysis (IRFA) and make the analysis available to the public for 
comment when the agency publishes a general notice of proposed 
rulemaking. The IRFA must describe the impact of the proposed rule on 
small entities and identify any alternatives that may reduce the 
impact. Specifically, the IRFA must contain:
     a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the 
number of small entities to which the proposed rule will apply;
     a description of the reasons why action by the agency is 
being considered;
     a succinct statement of the objectives of, and legal basis 
for, the proposed rule;
     a description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping, 
and other compliance requirements of the proposed rule, including an 
estimate of the classes of small entities subject to the requirements 
and the types of professional skills necessary for the preparation of 
reports or records; and
     identification, to the extent possible, of all relevant 
federal rules which may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the 
proposed rule.

1. Reason for Agency Action and Legal Basis for the Proposed Rule

    The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, section 104 
of the CPSIA, requires the CPSC to promulgate mandatory standards for 
nursery products that are substantially the same as, or more stringent 
than, the voluntary standard. The Commission worked closely with ASTM 
to develop the new requirements and test procedures that have been 
incorporated into ASTM F2907-14a, which the Commission proposes to 
incorporate by reference.

2. Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule

    The Commission is incorporating by reference the current voluntary 
standard, with no revision, to form the proposed rule. Some of the more 
significant requirements of the current voluntary standard for sling 
carriers (ASTM F2907-14a) include static and dynamic load testing to 
verify the structural integrity of the sling carriers and occupant 
retention testing to help ensure that the child is not ejected from the 
sling carrier. The ASTM standard requires that the buckles, fasteners, 
and knots that secure the sling carrier remain in position before and 
after these three performance tests. There is also a separate restraint 
system test to help ensure that any restraints used by the sling do not 
release while in use.
    The voluntary standard also includes:
     requirements for several features to prevent cuts 
(hazardous sharp points or edges, and wood parts);
     small parts;
     marking and labeling requirements;
     flammability requirements;
     requirements for the permanency and adhesion of labels; 
and
     requirements for instructional literature.
    The updated warning statements provide additional details of the 
fall and suffocation hazards and are intended to address the primary 
fatality risk associated with infant slings, suffocation.

3. Other Federal Rules

    Section 14(a)(2) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) requires 
every manufacturer and private labeler of a children's product that is 
subject to a children's product safety rule to certify, based on third 
party testing conducted by a CPSC-accepted laboratory, that the product 
complies with all applicable children's product safety rules. Section 
14(i)(2) of the CPSA requires the Commission to establish protocols and 
standards by rule for, among other things, making sure that a 
children's product is tested periodically and when there has been a 
material change in the product, and safeguarding against the exercise 
of undue influence by a manufacturer or private labeler against a 
conformity assessment body. A final rule implementing sections 14(a)(2) 
and 14(i)(2) of CPSA, Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product 
Certification (16 CFR part 1107), became effective on February 13, 2013 
(the 1107 rule). When the sling carrier rule is finalized, sling 
carriers will be subject to a mandatory children's product safety rule. 
Accordingly, sling carriers will also be subject to the third party 
testing requirements of section 14 of the CPSA and the 1107 rule. 
Slings are already subject to lead and phthalates testing under the 
1107 Rule. This rule adds certain mechanical tests and other 
requirements to the third party testing requirement.
    In addition, the 1107 rule requires certifiers to use CPSC-
accredited laboratories to conduct the third party testing of 
children's products. Section 14(a)(3) of the CPSA required the 
Commission to publish a notice of requirements (NOR) for the 
accreditation of third party conformance assessment bodies (i.e., 
testing laboratories) to test for conformance with each children's 
product safety rule. The NORs for existing rules are set forth in 16 
CFR part 1112. Consequently the Commission is proposing an amendment to 
16 CFR part 1112 that would establish the requirements for the 
accreditation of testing laboratories to test for compliance with the 
sling carrier final rule.

4. Impact on Small Businesses

    Of the 47 identified suppliers of sling carriers to the U.S. 
market, 33 are domestic firms. (We limit our analysis to domestic firms 
because U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines pertain to 
U.S.-based entities.) Under SBA guidelines, a manufacturer of sling 
carriers is small if it has 500 or fewer employees, and importers and 
wholesalers are small if the importers or wholesalers have 100 or fewer 
employees. Based on these guidelines, 31 of the domestic firms 
supplying sling carriers to the U.S. market appear to be small 
businesses. These businesses consist of 23 manufacturers, four 
importers, and four firms with unknown supply sources.
    Additionally, as noted previously, an unquantified number of 
producers supply baby slings to the U.S. market via Web sites such as 
Etsy. Although we have no information on these suppliers, based on the 
general nature of suppliers selling products on Etsy and similar 
markets, we assume that these suppliers are well within SBA criteria 
for small business. For purposes of analysis, we refer to these 
suppliers as ``very small manufacturers'' to distinguish them from the 
more established manufacturers, but this is not an official SBA 
designation.

[[Page 42731]]

    Before preparation of a regulatory flexibility analysis, the 
Commission conducts a screening analysis to determine whether a 
regulatory flexibility analysis or a certification statement of no 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities is 
appropriate for a proposed rule. The SBA gives considerable flexibility 
in defining the threshold for ``no significant economic impact.'' 
However, the Commission typically uses 1 percent of gross revenue as a 
threshold; unless the impact is expected to fall below the 1 percent 
threshold for the small businesses evaluated, the Commission prepares a 
regulatory flexibility analysis.
    Because we were unable to demonstrate that the draft proposed rule 
would impose an economic impact less than 1 percent of gross revenue 
for the affected firms, the Commission did not prepare a certification 
statement, but conducted an IRFA.
Small Manufacturers
    JPMA and the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA) have advised 
some manufacturers of F2907-12, F2907-13a, F2907-13b, and F2907-14. 
These organizations are offering assistance to member manufacturers on 
testing and compliance with the ASTM sling carrier standards. However, 
the ASTM sling carrier standards are relatively new, and there is no 
established history of compliance among manufacturers.
    As of January 2014, only two of the 23 known small manufacturers of 
sling carriers are listed on the JPMA Web site as certified compliant. 
Based on our review of small firm Web sites and a conversation with a 
small ring sling manufacturer, we have identified three additional 
firms (not JPMA certified) that have conducted testing to some version 
of the ASTM standard, for a total of five firms that have conducted 
testing to some version of the ASTM standard. These firms may have 
already experienced the impacts of the proposed rule and may not 
experience any additional impacts. The remaining firms are likely to 
incur some cost associated with the proposed rule.
    Due to the nature of the product and the relative ease of 
production, the Commission believes that most of the physical changes 
needed to meet the standard, such as changing fabrics, changing 
stitching, adding reinforcements, changing buckles, changing rings, 
changing labels, and changing instructions, are unlikely to be costly. 
Because sling carriers are largely made of fabric, tooling costs are 
not usually a large factor.
    Some manufacturers of ring slings are having difficulties with 
their products passing the occupant retention tests consistently. The 
problem appears to be variation in testing results based on how the 
sling is positioned on the test fixture. At this time, the precise cost 
of changes necessary to satisfy testing under the ASTM standard is 
unknown; and we cannot rule out the potential for costs high enough to 
lead to significant economic impacts, especially for the very small 
manufacturers.
    According to one manufacturer, changes to warning labels required 
under the proposed rule may have an impact on very small suppliers. We 
do not have sufficient data to determine whether this impact is 
expected to be economically significant. For example, if the cost of 
printing and sewing in the labels is 30 cents per sling, then the 
impact would be 1 percent of the sales price for a $30 sling. CPSC 
staff contacted a representative from the BCIA to obtain label prices 
but has no independent estimate at this time. An additional 
consideration is that the labels are relatively large and may reduce 
the appeal of the product if they cannot be readily concealed. However, 
this impact will apply to all sling manufacturers.
    Another manufacturer also expressed concerns that minor deviations 
from the font sizes required by the standard on the labels could force 
manufacturers to redo portions of the testing. This phenomenon may 
diminish as businesses become familiar with the requirements. Testing 
costs are discussed below.
    The majority of the costs associated with the proposed standard 
will probably be related to testing. Few of the sling carrier 
manufacturers have the technical capability or the equipment to conduct 
any testing in house; and most small and very small manufacturers 
probably will have to rely on third party testing during product 
development. Some small and very small manufacturers could experience 
significant costs simply testing to find out initially whether their 
products comply with the proposed standard and with any additional 
testing necessary to develop complying products.
    In addition, under section 14 of the CPSA, sling carriers are 
subject to third party testing and certification. Once the new 
requirements become effective, all manufacturers will be subject to the 
additional costs associated with the third party testing and 
certification requirements under the testing rule, Testing and Labeling 
Pertaining to Product Certification (16 CFR part 1107). This will 
include any physical and mechanical test requirements specified in the 
final rule; lead and phthalates testing, if applicable, are already 
required; hence, lead and phthalates testing are not included in this 
discussion.
    According to a BCIA representative, third party testing to the ASTM 
sling carrier voluntary standard could cost around $500-$1,050 per 
model sample, with $700 as an average cost. Third party testing 
consists of two costs: the testing costs unique to F2907 associated 
with the dynamic load test, the static load test, the occupant 
retention test, and the restraints test; and the general testing costs 
associated with testing for flammability, small parts, sharp edges, 
instructions, and labels. The testing costs unique to sling carriers 
vary widely, from $210 to $650, depending on whether the testing is 
done in China or the United States and whether a discount, such as the 
discount negotiated by the BCIA for its members, is applied. The 
general testing costs may amount to $300 to $400. The very small firms 
that manufacture in the United States will probably also test in the 
United States to avoid logistical difficulties, thus incurring higher 
costs.
    The $700 estimate for average testing costs includes all the 
required testing, such as flammability, sharp edges, etc. If a very 
small manufacturer with one model only needed to conduct one third 
party test annually, the costs of testing would amount to $700. A very 
small manufacturer producing 20 to 30 low-priced slings a month might 
have annual revenues of $10,800 (30 slings per month x 12 months x $30 
per sling). Testing one sample at $700 would amount to 6.5 percent 
($700/$10,800) of annual revenue for this hypothetical very small 
manufacturer, which we would clearly classify as a significant economic 
impact. Even if this manufacturer could sell its slings for $150, 
testing one sample at $700 would amount to 1.3 percent of annual 
revenue of $54,000 (360 slings*$150 per sling).
    As a comparison, third party testing costs for soft infant and 
toddler carriers (SITCs) were estimated at $500-$600 per sample for the 
SITC standard, ASTM F2236-14. However, the higher testing costs for 
slings could reflect additional testing for occupant retention, which 
is not part of the SITC standard.
    Based upon the previous example, even in the unlikely case that 
very small sling manufacturers are able to develop a complying product 
without incurring significant economic impacts, very small sling 
manufacturers are still likely to incur significant economic impacts 
complying with section 14 of the CPSA.

[[Page 42732]]

These types of impacts would apply to the very small producers 
marketing their products primarily via Etsy and other Web sites.
    Although information on sales revenue is limited to half of all 
manufacturers, we estimate that most of the 23 small domestic 
manufacturers have substantially larger sales volumes than the example 
above, with annual sales ranging between $200,000 and $16 million. 
Thus, product development and testing costs would be a lower percentage 
of sales revenue than the example above. At the lower range of $200,000 
in revenues, significant economic impacts would occur if the producer 
had to test three models per year. Firms with revenues closer to the 
upper end of the range, $16 million, would need to test more than 200 
models per year to experience significant economic impacts from 
testing. The number of tests needed for product development purposes or 
to meet the ``high degree of assurance'' criteria under section 14 of 
the CPSA is not known.
    About a third of firms (8 of 23) also have other product lines, 
which may cushion the impact of design changes and increased testing 
costs for sling carriers. These other products may be similar products, 
such as mei tais (a traditional Asian unstructured soft carrier falling 
under the SITC standard) or SITCs, or these other products may be 
completely unrelated juvenile products.
Small Importers
    At this time, only one of the four importers identified is in 
compliance with F2907-12, F2907-13a or F2907-13b. Depending upon the 
costs of coming into compliance incurred by the importers' suppliers 
and whether the importers' suppliers are able to pass on the costs, the 
other three importers could experience a significant economic impact. 
Three of the four importers are owned by foreign parent companies that 
supply the importers' slings. These parent companies must make the 
business decision to comply or to discontinue U.S. operations. Two of 
the four importers could respond by simply discontinuing their sling 
product line altogether because these importers have varied product 
lines.
    As is the case with manufacturers, all importers will be subject to 
third party testing and certification requirements. Consequently, these 
importers will experience the associated costs of compliance. The 
resulting costs could have a significant impact on these small 
importers.
    As mentioned previously, four of the small domestic firms have 
unknown supply sources, and none of these supply sources has claimed 
compliance with any version of F2907. However, two firms have varied 
product lines and may be in a better position to comply without 
incurring significant economic impacts. The other two appear to be 
small firms specializing in slings, and therefore, these small firms 
may be impacted more heavily by compliance and testing costs.

5. Alternatives

    Under the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, 
section 104 of the CPSIA, one alternative would be to set an effective 
date later than 12 months. Setting a later effective date would reduce 
the economic impact on firms in two ways. First, firms would be less 
likely to experience a lapse in production, which could result if firms 
are unable to comply within the required timeframe. Second, firms could 
spread costs over a longer time period, thereby reducing their annual 
costs and the present value of their total costs. Given the large 
number of very small suppliers who potentially will experience 
significant economic impacts, a later effective date may warrant 
consideration. The Commission welcomes comments regarding an 
appropriate effective date.

VII. Environmental Considerations

    The Commission's regulations address whether we are required to 
prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact 
statement. If our rule has ``little or no potential for affecting the 
human environment,'' our rule will be categorically exempted from this 
requirement. 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(1). The proposed rule falls within the 
categorical exemption.

VIII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains information collection requirements 
that are subject to public comment and review by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501-3521). In this document, pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 
3507(a)(1)(D), we set forth:
     a title for the collection of information;
     a summary of the collection of information;
     a brief description of the need for the information and 
the proposed use of the information;
     a description of the likely respondents and proposed 
frequency of response to the collection of information;
     an estimate of the burden that shall result from the 
collection of information; and
     notice that comments may be submitted to the OMB.
    Title: Safety Standard for Sling Carriers.
    Description: The proposed rule would require each sling carrier to 
comply with ASTM F2907-14a, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for 
Sling Carriers. Sections 8 and 9 of ASTM F2907-14a contain requirements 
for marking, labeling, and instructional literature. These requirements 
fall within the definition of ``collection of information,'' as defined 
in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3).
    Description of Respondents: Persons who manufacture or import sling 
carriers.
    Estimated Burden: We estimate the burden of this collection of 
information as follows:

                                                       Table 1--Estimated Annual Reporting Burden
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Number of       Frequency of     Total annual      Hours per       Total burden
                           16 CFR Section                              respondents       responses        responses         response          hours
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1228...............................................................              47                3              141                1              141
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Our estimates are based on the following:
    Section 8.1.1 of ASTM F2907-14a requires that the name and the 
place of business (city, state, mailing address, including zip code, or 
telephone number) and Web site, if applicable, of the manufacturer, 
distributor, or seller be marked clearly and legibly on each product 
and its retail package. Section 8.1.2 of ASTM F2907-14a requires a code 
mark or other means that identifies the date (month and year, as a 
minimum) of manufacture.
    There are 47 known entities supplying sling carriers to the U.S. 
market. All 47 firms are assumed to use labels already on both their 
products

[[Page 42733]]

and their packaging, but the firms might need to make some 
modifications to their existing labels. The estimated time required to 
make these modifications is about 1 hour per model. Each entity 
supplies an average of three different models of sling carrier; 
therefore, the estimated burden associated with labels is 1 hour per 
model x 47 entities x 3 models per entity = 141 hours. We estimate the 
hourly compensation for the time required to create and update labels 
is $27.71 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ``Employer Costs for 
Employee Compensation,'' September 2013, Table 9, total compensation 
for all sales and office workers in goods-producing private industries: 
http://www.bls.gov/ncs/). Therefore, the estimated annual cost to 
industry associated with the labeling requirements is $3,907.11 ($27.71 
per hour x 141 hours = $3,907.11). There are no operating, maintenance, 
or capital costs associated with the collection.
    Section 9.1 of ASTM F2907-14a requires instructions to be supplied 
with the product. Sling carriers do not generally require assembly, but 
require instructions for proper use, fit, and adjustment on a 
caregiver's body, as well as maintenance, cleaning, and storage. Under 
the OMB's regulations (5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2)), the time, effort, and 
financial resources necessary to comply with a collection of 
information that would be incurred by persons in the ``normal course of 
their activities'' are excluded from a burden estimate, where an agency 
demonstrates that the disclosure activities required to comply are 
``usual and customary.'' Therefore, because we are unaware of sling 
carriers that generally require some instructions for use, but lack any 
instructions to the user, we estimate tentatively that there are no 
burden hours associated with section 9.1 of ASTM F803-13 because any 
burden associated with supplying instructions with sling carriers would 
be ``usual and customary'' and would not within the definition of 
``burden'' under the OMB's regulations.
    Based on this analysis, the proposed standard for sling carriers 
would impose a burden to industry of 141 hours, at an estimated cost of 
$3,907.11 annually.
    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507(d)), we have submitted the information collection requirements of 
this rule to the OMB for review. Interested persons are requested to 
submit comments regarding information collection by August 22, 2014, to 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB (see the 
ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice).
    Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), we invite comments on:
     whether the collection of information is necessary for the 
proper performance of the CPSC's functions, including whether the 
information will have practical utility;
     the accuracy of the CPSC's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
     ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected;
     ways to reduce the burden of the collection of information 
on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques, 
when appropriate, and other forms of information technology; and
     the estimated burden hours associated with label 
modification, including any alternative estimates.

IX. Preemption

    Section 26(a) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. 2075(a), provides that where a 
consumer product safety standard is in effect and applies to a product, 
no state or political subdivision of a state may either establish or 
continue in effect a requirement dealing with the same risk of injury, 
unless the state requirement is identical to the federal standard. 
Section 26(c) of the CPSA also provides that states or political 
subdivisions of states may apply to the Commission for an exemption 
from this preemption under certain circumstances. Section 104(b) of the 
CPSIA refers to the rules to be issued under that section as ``consumer 
product safety rules.'' Therefore, the preemption provision of section 
26(a) of the CPSA would apply to a rule issued under section 104.

X. Certification and Notice of Requirements (NOR)

    The CPSA establishes certain requirements for product certification 
and testing. Products subject to a consumer product safety rule under 
the CPSA, or to a similar rule, ban, standard, or regulation under any 
other act enforced by the Commission, must be certified as complying 
with all applicable CPSC-enforced requirements. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a). 
Certification of children's products subject to a children's product 
safety rule must be based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accepted third 
party conformity assessment body. Id. 2063(a)(2). The Commission must 
publish a notice of requirements (NOR) for the accreditation of third 
party conformity assessment bodies (or laboratories) to assess 
conformity with a children's product safety rule to which a children's 
product is subject. Id. 2063(a)(3). Thus, the proposed rule for 16 CFR 
part 1228, ``Safety Standard for Sling Carriers,'' when issued as a 
final rule, will be a children's product safety rule that requires the 
issuance of an NOR.
    To meet the requirement that the Commission issue an NOR for the 
sling carrier standard, the Commission proposes to amend an existing 
rule. The Commission published a final rule, Requirements Pertaining to 
Third Party Conformity Assessment Bodies, 78 FR 15836 (March 12, 2013), 
which is codified at 16 CFR part 1112 (referred to here as Part 1112). 
This rule took effect on June 10, 2013. Part 1112 establishes 
requirements for accreditation of third party conformity assessment 
bodies (or laboratories) to test for conformance with a children's 
product safety rule in accordance with Section14(a)(2) of the CPSA. The 
final rule also codifies all of the NORs that the CPSC had published to 
date. All new NORs, such as the sling carrier standard, require an 
amendment to part 1112. Accordingly, the proposed rule would amend part 
1112 to include the sling carrier standard, along with the other 
children's product safety rules for which the CPSC has issued NORs.
    Laboratories applying for acceptance as a CPSC-accepted third party 
conformity assessment body to test to the new standard for sling 
carriers would be required to meet the third party conformity 
assessment body accreditation requirements in part 1112. When a 
laboratory meets the requirements as a CPSC-accepted third party 
conformity assessment body, the laboratory can apply to the CPSC to 
have 16 CFR part 1228, Safety Standard for Sling Carriers, included in 
the laboratory's scope of accreditation of CPSC safety rules listed for 
the laboratory on the CPSC Web site at: www.cpsc.gov/labsearch.
    As required by the RFA, staff conducted a final regulatory 
flexibility analysis (FRFA) when the Commission issued the part 1112 
rule (78 FR 15836, 15855-58). Briefly, the FRFA concluded that the 
accreditation requirements would not have a significant adverse impact 
on a substantial number of small laboratories because no requirements 
were imposed on laboratories that did not intend to provide third party 
testing services. The only laboratories that were expected to provide 
such services were those that anticipated receiving sufficient revenue 
from the mandated testing to justify accepting the requirements as a 
business decision.
    Based on similar reasoning, amending the part 1112 rule to include 
the NOR for the sling carrier standard will not have a significant 
adverse impact on

[[Page 42734]]

small laboratories. Moreover, based upon the number of laboratories in 
the United States that have applied for CPSC acceptance of the 
accreditation to test for conformance to other juvenile product 
standards, we expect that only a few laboratories will seek CPSC 
acceptance of their accreditation to test for conformance with the 
sling carrier standard. Most of these laboratories will have already 
been accredited to test for conformance to other juvenile product 
standards, and the only costs to them would be the cost of adding the 
sling carrier standard to their scope of accreditation. As a 
consequence, the Commission certifies that the NOR for the sling 
carrier standard will not have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

XI. Request for Comments

    This proposed rule begins a rulemaking proceeding under section 
104(b) of the CPSIA to issue a consumer product safety standard for 
sling carriers. We invite all interested persons to submit comments on 
any aspect of the proposed rule.
    Comments should be submitted in accordance with the instructions in 
the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice.

List of Subjects

16 CFR Part 1112

    Administrative practice and procedure, Audit, Consumer protection, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Third party conformity 
assessment body.

16 CFR Part 1228

    Consumer protection, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Infants 
and children, Labeling, Law enforcement, Toys.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission proposes 
to amend Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 1112--REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO THIRD PARTY CONFORMITY 
ASSESSMENT BODIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 1112 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Pub. L. 110-314, section 3, 122 Stat. 3016, 3017 
(2008); 15 U.S.C. 2063.

0
2. Amend Sec.  1112.15, by adding paragraph (b)(39) to read as follows:


Sec.  1112.15  When can a third party conformity assessment body apply 
for CPSC acceptance for a particular CPSC rule and/or test method?

* * * * *
    (b)(39) 16 CFR part 1228, Safety Standard for Sling Carriers.
* * * * *
0
3. Add part 1228 to read as follows:

PART 1228--SAFETY STANDARD FOR SLING CARRIERS

Sec.
1228.1 Scope.
1228.2 Requirements for sling carriers.

    Authority: Pub. L. 110-314, sec. 104, 122 Stat. 3016 (August 14, 
2008); Pub. L. 112-28, 125 Stat. 273 (August 12, 2011).


Sec.  1228.1  Scope.

    This part establishes a consumer product safety standard for sling 
carriers.


Sec.  1228.2  Requirements for sling carriers.

    (a) Each sling carrier must comply with all applicable provisions 
of ASTM F2907-14a, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Sling 
Carriers, approved on February 15, 2014. The Director of the Federal 
Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 
U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy from ASTM 
International, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, P.O. Box 0700, West Conshohocken, 
PA 19428; http://www.astm.org/cpsc.htm. You may inspect a copy at the 
Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 
820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, telephone 301-504-
7923, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). 
For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-
741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federalregulations/ibr_locations.html.
    (b) [Reserved]

    Dated: July 10, 2014.
Todd A. Stevenson,
Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2014-16792 Filed 7-22-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6355-01-P