But, its total number of registered foam producers has actually increased by one, to 57. ‘Those in China have been replaced,’ he said. ‘Producers in Vietnam, Taiwan, Turkey and Kosovo are all new from six months ago. It is definitely shifting around the world as the impacts of tariffs travels.’
AFPF has also recently increased the number of verification tests it carries out, from 10% to 15%. ‘These are verifications where we do an on-site inspection,’ he said. Overall, about 11% of samples fail, most of which are viscoelastic and visco with gel foams.
Another change in the pipeline is the way metal levels in foam are tested. As of January 2020, tests will have to use a digestive method rather than an extractive one.
Crowell believes this will be good for foam producers and the Certipur-US programme. ‘It allows us to meet or exceed the ASTM F-963-17 Toy specification,’ he said. Barium has been added to the panel of metals that must be tested, while nickel, cobalt and copper have been eliminated. ‘It will also give foam producers the CPSIA annual testing for lead as part of the Certipur-US programme,’ he added.