New standard for children's furniture
http://www.dongguantoday.com/     08/01/2012 10:09

The children's furniture market in China has developed rapidly in recent years, but the nation still lacks production and inspection standards in the sector. Starting in August, China will implement the General Technical Requirements for Children's Furniture. The new standards clarify limits on toxic and harmful substances contained in children's furniture and specify design safety measures.

Starting in August, China will implement the General Technical Requirements for Children's Furniture, which will apply to children from three to 14 years of age. [Photo: baidu.com]

Because of a lack of production and inspection standards for children's furniture, many Chinese consumers must refer to general furniture standards when choosing furniture for their children and consider some superficial problems such as pungent paint smells.

Yan Zhicheng, a senior engineer at the Fujian Inspection and Research Institute for Product Quality, says substandard children's furniture poses safety risks.

"The old uniform standards do not distinguish differences between adults and children, so children's furniture is manufactured according to the adult standards, which may pose safety risks."

Now new general technical standards for children's furniture will apply to children from three to 14 years of age. They clarify limits on toxic and harmful substances contained in children's furniture and specify design safety measures regarding the corners, size and stability of furniture.

For example, children's furniture is required to have round corners rather than sharp ones. Huang Cuiyan, a sales consultant for a furniture manufacturer, explains.

"Take book cabinets and wardrobes for example. There must be a breather hole on the back. Through that, children will be able to breathe if they are stranded inside. Such designs offer more safety for children."

When selecting furniture for children, Huang suggests consumers check the quality test report issued by national quality supervision authorities. She also says it's best to choose light-colored furniture, as the amount of heavy metal contained in it is lower than that found in darker-colored furniture.

Furniture distributors and retailers welcome the new standards for children, as they must maintain their business reputation by choosing pieces from prestigious manufacturers that have environmental protection inspection certificates.

Wang Min, the general manager of a furniture dealer in Beijing, talks about her company's plan after the new standards take effect.

"After the new national standards for children's furniture take effect, we will seek cooperation with the quality supervision department to check all the children's furniture sold in our stores."

The new standards have prompted some furniture manufacturers in Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces to dump their stocks that do not meet the new standards out of fear of being banned from the market.

In one children's furniture market in Guangzhou, most of the pieces on sale are made of medium- and high-density fiberboard. Although the pieces emit a pungent smell, a salesman at the market claims the manufacturer uses environmentally friendly paint, and that all new furniture has a strong smell, which disappears after some time.

The salesman says this year's main sale came two months earlier than usual. Some furniture was discounted by as much as 70 percent compared with last year's 10 to 20 percent. The salesman also disclosed that manufacturers are worried about a compulsory withdrawal of substandard furniture on the market when the new standards take effect.

来源:CRIENGLISH.com     Editor:谭晶