Providence, Rhode Island – Rhode Island is the latest state to institute a ban on the use of certain organohalogen flame retardants in upholstered furniture and bedding. The ban is set to come into force in July 2019.
The law will regulate the use of any flame retardants that contain carbon–bromine or carbon–chlorine bonds and are added to foam, plastic or textiles. Penta-BDE and octa-BDE have already been restricted in the state since 2007.
The state joins a growing list that have introduced regulations restricting or banning flame retardants in consumer products. Laws are already in place in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Washington DC.
The Rhode Island law follows hot on the heels of an even wider ban that will soon be in place in Maine. After lobbying from environmentalists, and also firefighters who claimed they were experiencing elevated cancer rates, a bill was passed to prohibit the sale and distribution of residential upholstered furniture containing more than 0.1% of any flame retardant chemical or mixture of them.