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ISO packaging standard protects children from everyday products

by Sandrine Tranchard on
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child with pills
A new ISO standard for packaging of everyday products will help to save children from death and injury.
Every day, children may die or become ill because they have ingested medicines, household cleaning or do-it-yourself products. ISO 13127will help to reduce such tragedies.

ISO 13127:2012, Packaging – Child resistant packaging – Mechanical test methods for reclosable child resistant packaging systems, will help designers and manufacturers to ensure children cannot open potentially dangerous products.

There are a number of ways of reducing the risk of domestic accidents, such as increasing public awareness of hazards associated with various products, and the use of suitable information and labelling by the manufacturer. However, this is not enough. It is also important to design child resistant product packaging, thus creating a physical barrier between the child and hazardous products.

ISO 13127:2012, working in conjunction with the well-known existing panel testing standard ISO 8317:2003, Child-resistant packaging – Requirements and testing procedures for reclosable packages, will deal with the many situations where, over the life of a pack, minor changes are made. It will enable a comparison, by means of mechanical tests, of some of the physical parameters of the panel tested packaging systems; with those that have been subjected to change. Many manufacturers already conduct their own mechanical tests. But some don’t.

ISO 13127:2012 will offer standardization to those who do mechanically test their products after minor changes, and an opportunity to do so to those who don’t. It will generate standardized performance data that may be compared to similar data exhibited by panel tested packs.

Stephen Wilkins, Chair of the ISO technical committee responsible for developing this standard, says: “ISO 13127 will make it easier for manufacturers and brand owners to ensure that packs, for either regulated products, or those where corporate social responsibility demands extra protection and to ensure that consumers are given that protection. It is a standard to aid development. But in the case of major or fundamental changes to pack construction or design, it will not replace panel testing as set out in ISO 8317:2003.”

ISO 13127:2012 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 122, Packaging, subcommittee SC 3, Performance requirements and tests for means of packaging, packages and unit loads. It costs 98 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.