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Shopping Carts

What if warning and safety labeling mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and ASTM weren’t as permanent on LSE polyolefin plastic shopping cart flaps as stated within the labeling standards cited? For eight shopping cart OEM’s, it had to be. And only Polyfuze was able to exceed those standards.

For the sake of children’s safety and the OEM’s protection against litigation, it was imperative that use and safety information on shopping cart flaps endured all abuses a shopping cart experienced until its end-of-life use.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2010 estimated that 82% of total injuries related to shopping cart injuries were falls from shopping carts, making it the nations top injury to the 20,332 children under the age of five, who were treated for injuries annually in U.S. ER’s from 2003-2008. In a letter to the ASTM Shopping Carts Subcommittee Chairman, CPSC cited that “warning labels should focus on hazards that are more likely to occur, are more severe, and on hazard messages that may have the greatest impact.”

According to ASTM F2372-15 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Shopping Carts, “A label shall be considered permanent if, during an attempt to remove it without the aid of tools or solvents, it cannot be removed or such action damages the surface to which it is attached.”  But the truth is, it doesn’t take tools or solvents to remove current labels! Abrasion from children’s clothing and the chemical in freebie cleaning wipes available the front doors of retailers have been doing plenty of damage for years. Adding in natural UV light, weathering, scratches and occasional pressure washing only speeds up this degradation process.

Under section X1.4 of ASTM D3359, the only test cited for permanence performance within F2372-15, states that “Tape tests have been criticized when used for substrates other than metal, such as plastics. The central issues are that the test on plastics lacks reproducibility and does not relate to the intended application. More importantly, in this instance the test is being applied beyond its intended scope. These test methods were designed for relatively ductile coatings applied to metal substrates, not for coatings (often brittle) applied to plastic parts.”

The second problem of current labeling methods, especially pressure sensitive adhesion based labels, is within section 7.5.3 of F2372-15 which states “A label, during an attempt to remove it without the aid of tools or solvents, shall not be removed or shall not fit entirely within the small parts cylinder defined in 16 CFR 1501 if it can be removed.”  Basically, any label that has the potential to be removed also has the potential of becoming a choking hazard. This is another giant safety risk to children.

Today, some shopping cart OEM’s are working hard to supply safe and informative shopping carts to retail chains around the world in order to keep children safe. Since the Polyfuze label fuses to low surface energy polyolefin plastics, not only can it not be removed by the aid of tools or solvents, it simply cannot be removed (apart from completely destroying the product it’s been applied to). Thanks to the Polyfuze label, parents receive the safety and usage information they need, children remain safe from falling and choking hazards, and OEM’s are protected from litigious efforts, all because the Polyfuze label is guaranteed for the life of the product it’s applied to. Polyfuze is a proud supplier of over 2.5 million labels and counting, to the eight OEM suppliers who were willing to not only meet, but overwhelmingly exceed the standard for shopping cart label safety. We’re proud to contribute our part to what we believe future CPSC shopping cart safety statistics are going to be: A safe and bright future for kids.