ASTM Moves Closer to Developing Standard for Glass Used in Furniture Applications
February 16, 2011

ASTM International is continuing to work toward developing a standard for glass used in furniture. Subcommittee F15.42 on Furniture Safety, which reports to Committee F15 on Consumer Products is leading these efforts, which have been ongoing since 2008.

According to Julie Schimmelpenningh, global architectural applications manager for Saflex, a unit of Solutia Inc., and a committee member, the task group met in November to go over the remainder of the concerns and comments from the last ballot cycle.

"The draft document will be prepared for ballot which should happen around the April timeframe. Pending comments on this ballot it will go back to committee for revision or onward to approval," says Schimmelpenningh. "The committee has been working to understand all the concerns of glass use in furniture and specifically table top type applications and has come to a point where the members realize that break safe characteristics are critical for the applications outlined in the standard. Some of the hardest work by this committee was trying to understand the scenarios around the injuries and what was reported versus just casting a widespread blanket of reform. They were very conscious of the safety, cost and availability of products and the potential changes that such a voluntary standard could have on both the furniture and glazing industry."

Industry consultant John Bush says the development of a standard such as this one is a positive move for the glass industry.

"This is a great effort by the ASTM committee as this standard is a very significant step toward requiring glass in table tops, cabinets etc to be safe," says Bush. "Other glass [applications] in homes, such as in entry doors and shower enclosures, are already safety glazing and it is almost unbelievable that we still allow such dangerous items in our furniture.™ will continue to provide updates on the development of this standard as they are made available.

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