San Francisco has become the first city in the US to restrict flame retardants in upholstered and reupholstered furniture, and juvenile products. Each flame retardant is restricted to less than or equal to 1000ppm.
The ‘Flame Retardant Chemicals in Upholstered Furniture and Juvenile Products Ordinance’, Ordinance 211-17, was signed into law by the mayor on November 3, 2017. The new law alters the city’s Environmental Code, creating a new Chapter 28, and instructs the Director of the Department of Environment to issue necessary rules and regulations to implement and enforce the new law.
The law uses the following definitions:
- Upholstered furniture – new, not previously owned, seating made with soft materials, including but not limited to fabric, padding, decking, barrier material, foam, and/or other resilient filling, that is required to meet the flammability standards in California Technical Bulletin 117-2013. Upholstered furniture does not include products required to meet California Technical Bulletin 133 ‘Flammability Test Procedure for Seating Furniture for Use in Public Occupancies’
- Reupholstered furniture - furniture whose original fabric, padding, decking, barrier, material foam, and/or other resilient filling has been replaced by an Establishment, that has not been sold since the time of such replacement, and that is required to meet the flammability standards in California Technical Bulletin 117-2013 ‘Requirements, Test Procedure and Apparatus for Testing the Smolder Resistance of Materials Used in Upholstered Furniture ’. Reupholstered furniture does not include products required to meet California Technical Bulletin 133
- Juvenile products - new products designed for residential use by infants and children under 12 years of age, including but not limited to a bassinet, booster seat, changing pad, floor play mat, highchair, highchair pad, infant bouncer, infant carrier, infant seat, infant swing, infant walker, nursing pad, nursing pillow, playpen side pad, play yard, portable hook-on chair, stroller and children’s nap mat. It does not include the following products:
o Not primarily intended for residential use, eg products or components for motor vehicles
o Subject to 49 CFR 571 ‘Parts and products used in vehicles and aircraft’
o Required to meet 16 CFR 1632 or 1633 ‘mattress products’
o Required to meet California Technical Bulletin 133 ‘Flammability Test Procedure for Seating Furniture for Use in Public Occupancies’
The new law has two effective dates depending on the presence or absence of electrical and electronic components. Upholstered and reupholstered furniture and juvenile products without electrical and electronic components must comply with the terms of the law by January 1, 2019. The same products with electrical and electronic components have until July 1, 2019, to comply.
San Francisco is the latest area in the US to introduce restrictions on flame retardants. In October 2017, the US state of Rhode Island passed a law to regulate all organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) in residential upholstered bedding or furniture to less than or equal to 100 ppm for each OFR. The law includes a provision to restrict OFRs in children’s residential upholstered bedding or furniture, which will become effective one year before the main effective date, on July 1, 2018.
Stakeholders should check their products are compliant with the latest requirements concerning flame retardants in different US markets.
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.
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