Surface Over the Need for Furniture Glass Regulation
With stories and reports about the breakage of glass tabletops
surfacing on a near regular basis, Consumer Reports is again
questioning why there are currently no regulations over the type
of glass that should be used in furniture (CLICK
HERE for related story). Three years ago the Consumers Union,
publisher of Consumer Reports made a proposal to ASTM International
that an industry standard for furniture glass be written. However,
little has since surfaced regarding the development of a standard.
While the Glass Association of North America (GANA) has been involved
with the development of a number of previous ASTM standards, Greg
Carney, GANA technical director, says nothing much has developed
from ASTM in regards to a document that would apply to glass furniture.
"At one point there was an [ASTM] effort to write a test procedure
for glass in furniture
and supposedly the group was going
to get a draft out, but we have not seen anything," said Carney,
who explained that he had been expecting to see something on the
matter earlier this year.
The discussions have taken place within ASTM Subcommittee F15.42
on Furniture Safety, which reports to Committee F15 on Consumer
"We've attempted to be a part of that subcommittee to investigate
what [standards or procedures] would be best for glass used in furniture,
but we have seen little to no progress at this time," Carney
Len Morrissey, ASTM manager of F15 on Consumer Products, told USGNN.com
that his group has been reviewing a draft to cover this topic under
Subcommittee F15.42 on Furniture Safety and they anticipate that
a first draft will be sent to ballot in January.
According to Consumer Reports, the Consumer Products Safety
Commission (CPSC) has also not done anything in regards to regulating
furniture glass products. The CPSC did not return calls from USGNN.com
But for some people in the industry, having a standard for furniture
glass brings a concern. Why? Both tempered and laminated glass cost
more than annealed glass, and some fear that could keep some furniture
manufacturers from using as much glass as they do now (CLICK
HERE for related article).
The other side to it all is the fact that the majority of furniture
sold in the United States is no longer produced here and is instead
imported from other countries, such as China. That means the glass
coming in with the furniture was also most likely produced offshore
and therefore having a standard for furniture glass produced here
would not affect the majority of the U.S. glass fabricators.
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