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WIA Technical Committee

Between the years 1970 -1984, nine children aged between four and eleven years died due to the inhalation of pen caps which lodged in the trachea and caused death by suffocation. The deaths prompted the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) to commission a report which contained certain recommendations governing pen cap design. The DTI asked British Standards Institution (BSI) to convene a technical Committee of interested parties to produce the Safety Caps for Writing and Marking Instruments Standard which was published as BS7272 on the 31st January 1993 and came into effect on the 31st October 1993. This British Standard has subsequently been updated and revised. The BSI Technical Committee includes four members of the WIA Technical Committee.

When the original BSI Committee was formed its mandate included all aspects of writing and marking instruments. In 1996 a child died in Italy following the inhalation of a cap type end closure which resulted in 1996 in the BSI Committee commencing work on a new standard BS7272-2 which was published early in 2000 and is currently being reviewed. The WIA and its Technical Committee have been involved throughout with this work.

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