Sacramento, California – Changes to California’s TB 117 regulations — the defacto national US flame retardant standard for flexible furniture foam — are being fought hard by members of the industry in June 2014.
The Californian State legislation is going through its committee stages at the moment and companies in the flexible foam industry, led by a UK and Switzerland-based international flame retardant company, are “trying to get the words ‘added’ and ‘adding’ struck out,” according to a source close to the issue.
The source, who does not wish to be named, said: “We don’t mind the foam with nil flame retardant contained in it, but we don’t want to be banned from adding flame retardant to the foam.”
According to the draft legislation on 19 June 2014, arguments for restrictions on flame retardants centre around Natural Resources Defense Council’s belief that flame retardants “do not provide a meaningful fire safety benefit” and are “associated with a variety of health concerns including cancer, decreased fertility and lower IQ” among other drawbacks.
Arguments against, proposed by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association and supported by the ACC, PFA and others, states: “The bill as drafted lacks scientific justification and conflicts with existing California consumer product and chemical safety laws.”
It fails to “give consumers meaningful information about the safety of products that contain flame retardant chemicals” and will “unnecessarily alarm consumers over the safety of products they may purchase.”