SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 105/16

SafeGuardS Residential Furniture

The House of Representatives in the U.S. state of Connecticut has recently passed a bill to restrict flame retardants in children’s products and upholstered furniture. If eventually signed into law, the new measures will take effect in 2 phases starting 1 July, 2018.

On 30 April, 2016, the House of Representatives in the U.S. state of Connecticut [1] passed Substitute HB 5299 [2] to restrict the use of 5 flame retardants in children’s products and upholstered residential furniture. These 5 flame retardants are:

  • Decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca-BDE)

  • Hexabromocylododecane (HBCDD)

  • Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP)

  • Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCP/TDCPP)

  • Tris(1-chloro2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP)

According to the proposal, a children’s product is defined as a product designed or intended primarily for children aged 12 and younger. Examples of these are changing pads, clothing, crib mattresses, nursing pillows, strollers and toys. The proposal does not include, among others, the following within the meaning of children’s products:

  • Consumer electronics

  • Children’s toys subjected to ASTM F963

  • Motor vehicles governed by 49 CFR 571.213 [3] (child restraint systems) and 49 CFR 571.302 [4] (flammability of interior materials)

There are two effective dates:

  • 1 July, 2018 for manufacturers

  • 1 July, 2019 for distributors, retailers and wholesalers

The bill is now in the Senate. If it is eventually signed into law, Connecticut will join a host of states across the US in restricting or prohibiting flame retardants in consumer products.

Highlights of Substitute HB 5299 are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: Substitute HB 5299 ‘‘An Act Concerning Toxic Flame Retardant Chemicals in Children’s Products and Upholstered Residential Furniture’

Flame retardant Scope Requirement Proposed Effective Date
  • Deca-BDE
  • TCEP
  • TCPP
  • Products for children aged 12 and under
  • Upholstered residential furniture
 ≤ 0.01% 1 July, 2018 (Manufacturers)
1 July, 2019 (Distributors, retailers and wholesalers)

Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy for flame retardants in children’s products and upholstered residential furniture 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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