Loudon, Tennessee - Encouraging signs have been noted in the US flexible foam sector, says the PFA (the US Polyurethane Foam Association). In terms pounds of flexible foam poured, the past few months have seen a "positive movement in the numbers", although the PFA is urging cautious optimism.
However, the PFA also noted a sharp increase in upholstered furniture manufactured in China, which renews concerns about domestic growth potential in certain end-markets for FPF (flexible polyurethane foam) products.
In its latest newsletter, the PFA pointed out the need to distinguish FPF from spray foam, following recent scrutiny from regulatory agencies who have "expressed concerns" about possibly misleading environmental claims made by spray foam marketers.
Specifically, the PFA said there had been questions about possible exposure levels and spray-foam worker safety, and noted that historically, regulators and consumers have difficulty distinguishing between rigid spray foam products and FPF. The PFA said it will do what it can to educate those involved to help them better understand that the industries are separate -- and to correct miss-statements such as a claim in a Center for Disease Control (CDC) slide-show that spray foam is used in furniture manufacturing.
The PFA also reported that an additional two manufacturers are in the process of submitting foams for registration under the CertiPUR-US foam certification scheme. These two will swell the ranks of the four foam manufacturers who have now registered 15 products with CertiPUR-US, as momentum builds among bedding manufacturers and furniture retailers, PFA noted.
Finally, CertiPUR-US products are likely to qualify under the Home Improvements Revitalize the Economy (HIRE) Act, which the PFA hopes will give the US home furnishings industry a boost. The act provides tax deductions and credits designed to encourage the purchase of home furnishing and building products, including CertiPUR-US-approved foam products. (RD)