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US State of Washington Expands Restriction of Flame Retardants In Consumer Products

SafeGuardSApril 18, 2016

The US state of Washington has recently approved measures restricting the use of five flame retardants in children’s products and residential upholstered furniture. The new law will take effect on July 1, 2017.

In 2007, we informed you [1] that Washington State approved measures to prohibit the use of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in non comestible products, with certain exemptions for decabromo diphenyl ether (Deca-BDE) (RCW 70.76). [2] The law defines PBDEs as diphenyl ethers containing bromine atoms, and is not limited to commercial mixtures of pentabromo diphenyl ether (Penta-BDE), octabromo diphenyl ether (Octa-BDE) and decabromo diphenyl ether (Deca-BDE).

On April 1, 2016, the governor of Washington State signed the Engrossed Substitute HB 2545 ‘The Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act’ [3] into law to restrict the use of five flame retardants (FRs) in children’s products as defined under RCW 70.240.010 [4] as well as in residential upholstered furniture. These five flame retardants are:

  • Additive TBBPA

  • Deca-BDE


  • TDCPP and TCEP

Washington State is the first jurisdiction in the US to regulate TBBPA, a flame retardant that can be used in toys, childcare articles and furniture.

The new law amends certain definitions falling under RCW 70.240.010 by replacing ‘Child car seats’ with ‘Portable infant or child safety seat designed to attach to an automobile seat’. Children’s products now include:

  • Clothing

  • Cosmetics for children under the age of 12

  • Jewelry for children under the age of 12

  • Portable infant or child safety seats designed to attach to an automobile seat

  • Products to help a child with sucking or teething, to facilitate sleep, relaxation, or the feeding of a child

  • Toys

The new law also directs the Departments of Health and Ecology of Washington State to evaluate six additional flame retardants (IPTPP, TBB, TBPH, TCPP, TPP and V6) and the Department of Health to make recommendations to the Legislature on whether to prohibit, or restrict, their use in an equivalent scope of products.

Washington State now joins a number of jurisdictions across the US regulating flame retardants in consumer products, including the Federal Government [5], California [6], Hawaii (HRS § 332D-1) [7], Illinois [8], Maine [9], Maryland [10], Michigan [11], Minnesota [12], New York [13], Oregon [14], Rhode Island [15], Vermont [16] and Washington DC [17].

The new law will take effect on July 1, 2017. Highlights of the new law are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: Washington State Toxic Free Kids and Families Act (ES HB 2545, 2016; Chapter 176, 2016)

Flame Retardant (FR)ScopeRequirementEffective Date
  • Deca-BDE
  • TCEP
  • Children’s products falling under RCW 70.240.010
  • Residential upholstered furniture
≤ 1000 ppm each FRJuly 1 2017


The following FRs may be restricted to no more than 1000 ppm in children’s products and residential furniture by rule:



1TBBPA79-94-7Tetrabromobisphenol A
2Deca-BDE1163-19-5Decabromodiphenyl ether
3HBCD (HBCDD)25637-99-4Hexabromocyclododecane
4IPTPP68937-41-7Isopropylated triphenyl phosphate
7TCEP115-96-8Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate
8TCPP13674-84-5Tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate
9TDCPP13674-87-8Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate
10TPP115-86-6Triphenyl phosphate
11V6385051-10-4Bis(chloromethyl) propane-1,3-diyl tetrakis (2-chloroethyl) bisphosphate

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy for flame retardants in consumer products for the US and international markets. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hing Wo Tsang
t: +852 2774 7420

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