California Signs into Law Restrictions on Flame Retardants in Some Consumer Goods
10/21/2018

California's Governor has approved measures to regulate flame retardants in three categories of consumer products.

Online PR News – 21-October-2018 – Geneva, Switzerland – California has approved measures to regulate the use of flame retardants in three categories of consumer product:

• Juvenile products
• Mattresses
• Upholstered and reupholstered furniture

Under the new law, flame retardants must be restricted to less than or equal to 1000 ppm.

The law defines flame retardants as:

• A chemical where its functional use is to resist or inhibit the spread of fire or as a synergist to chemicals that resist or inhibit the spread of fire, and meeting one of the following criteria:
o The flame retardant is a halogenated, organophosphorus, organonitrogen, or nanoscale chemical
o The flame retardant is a 'designated chemical' under Section 105440 of the Health and Safety Code
o The flame retardant is a chemical under Washington State Department of Ecology's (DOE) list of Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCCs) as of January 1, 2019, and identified as a flame retardant or as a synergist to flame retardants (WAC Title 173 Section 173-334-130)

The law defines juvenile product as:

"A product subject to this Chapter and designed for residential use by children under 12 years of age, including but not limited to, bassinets, booster seats, changing pads, floor playmats, highchairs, highchair pads, infant bouncers, infant carriers, infant seats, infant swings, infant walkers, nursing pads, nursing pillows, playpen side pads, playards, portable hook-on chairs, strollers and children's nap mats."

Exemptions to the law include the following materials or components:
- Electronic components of juvenile products, mattresses, reupholstered furniture, upholstered furniture, or associated casing for those electronic components
- Threads or fibers for stitching mattress components together
- Components of adult mattresses other than foam

The new law compliments California's existing restriction:

• 2008 - blanket ban on pentabrominated diphenyl ether (penta-BDE) and octabrominated diphenyl ether (Octa-BDE) technical mixtures
• 2010 - polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) restricted under its' Lighting Efficiency and Toxics Reduction Act'

Several US jurisdictions now regulate the use of certain flame retardants, including the Federal Government, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, San Francisco, Vermont, Washington and Washington DC. In addition, the City of San Francisco also restricts flame retardants, but only in juvenile products and upholstered and reupholstered furniture. These restrictions also include electronic components in these products. To learn more, see Safeguard 168/17.

Finally, stakeholders should be aware that the states of Maine, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington require disclosure information on some flame retardants in certain children's products.

The Governor of California signed the bill into law on September 29, 2018. It will create a completely new Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 19100) to Chapter 3 of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code and will come into effect on January 1, 2020.

Interested parties are advised to check their products are compliant with the latest requirements under California law.

SGS Home Furnishings & Houseware Services
SGS helps companies deliver well-designed, functional, durable and safe products to their customers. They have the furniture industry, regulatory and technical expertise to check a products' compliance against relevant international standards and/or your own specifications. Using their global network of laboratories, they provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy for flame retardants in consumer products for the US and international markets. Learn more about SGS's Home Furnishings & Houseware Services: [www.sgs.com/en/consumer-goods-retail/hardgoods/home-furnishings-and-houseware]

For further information contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
Tel:(+852) 2774 7420
Email: crs.media@sgs.com

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