California Introduces Emissions Test for Furniture Sold in State

Urethanes Technology International reports that it may be possible to use reactive flame retardants in furniture sold in California and not declare them on furniture labelling if they are present at below 1,000 parts per million (ppm) in the finished product.

The report published in March refers to technical guidelines issued (PDF) by the California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishing and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI) stating that the presence or absence of flame retardant in flexible foam and other furniture components must be labelled under the state’s new labelling law SB1019. Under the law, added flame retardant chemicals are defined as “flame retardant chemicals that are present in any covered product or component thereof at levels above 1,000 ppm.”

The measure means California has effectively introduced an emissions test on furniture sold in the state to help legislate against the use of emissive flame retardants and give consumers more environmental information at the point of sale. SB1019 came in to force in January this year.

UTECH International’s editor Simon Robinson spoke with Polyurethane Foam Association Executive Director Bob Ludeka about the new labelling law and what it means for the industry. The report also mentions Natural Foams’ success  producing ultra-low emissions foams using reacted flame retardants that can pass the 1,000 ppm emissions test.

You can read the full report “California FR regulation outflanked by reactive flame retardant technology” and related stories at UTECH-polyurethane.com.