The US State of Massachusetts’ Senate passed Bill S 2302, “An Act to protect children and families from harmful flame retardants”, on May 19, 2016. The bill, currently under consideration by Massachusetts’ House of Representatives, seeks to restrict the use of flame-retardants in children’s products, bedding, carpeting and window treatments. If the bill is eventually signed into law, it will become effective on January 1, 2017.
The bill proposes a number of important provisions, including:
- · The regulation of 10 flame retardants
- · The requirement for new flame-retardants to be evaluated every three years by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The department will also promulgate rules regarding these substances
- · The requirement for manufacturers of products containing restricted flame-retardants to inform their retailers about the passage of the bill by October 3, 2016.
While the bill does include the provision for addition to be made to the list, it will initially include:
- · Antimony trioxide
- · Decabromodiphenyl ether
- · Hexabromocyclododecane
- · Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
- · Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins
- · 2-Ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate
- · Bis(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromophthalate
- · Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate
- · Tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate
- · Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate
Currently the bill under consideration does contain a number of exemptions relating to: products manufactured before January 1, 2017; products containing substances newly identified by the DEP; and products manufactured from recycled products. While the proposed bill does not presently include residential upholstered furniture in the list of covered products, manufacturers should be aware these products are mentioned in the bill and may be incorporated in the final draft of the law.
Massachusetts is one of a number of US states seeking to restrict the use of certain flame-retardants in a variety of consumer products. Through its global network of laboratories, SGS can help companies stay compliant with flame retardant legislation in both US and international markets.
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