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A number of states in the US have introduced bills to restrict certain flame retardants in consumer products. The scope of products and types of flame retardant are jurisdiction dependent.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 031/18

SafeGuardS chemicals2

Additive flame retardants (Additive-FRs) are non-chemically binding substances that are added to a wide variety of household products such as bedding, childcare articles, clothing, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture, mattresses, paints/coatings and residential textiles. They are added to materials such as plastics, foams and textiles to prevent fires from starting and to limit the spread of fires.

Over the years, the use of flame retardants has increasingly been restricted or prohibited due to their toxicity effects and negative impacts to the environment. In the US, a host of jurisdictions across the nation regulate flame retardants in consumer products, including the Federal Government, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, San Francisco (California), Vermont, Washington and Washington D.C. The restricted or prohibited flame retardants and the scope of regulated products are specific to each of these jurisdictions. Additionally, the states of Maine, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington require disclosure information on some flame retardants in certain children’s products.

Since the beginning of 2018, a number of states have introduced bills to restrict flame retardants in a variety of products. These include, inter alia, bedding, children’s products, electronic enclosures, mattresses and upholstered furniture.

Highlights of these proposals are summarized in Table 1.

Jurisdiction
Citation   Flame Retardant
Scope
Requirement
Effective Date
California
AB 2998 [1]
Flame retardant chemical or mixture
  • Juvenile products
  • Mattresses
  • Upholstered or reupholstered furniture
≤ 0.1%
January 1, 2020
Connecticut
Raised bill. 305 [2]
Flame retardant
Children’s products or upholsteredresidential furniture
Labelling required if > 1000 ppm
October 1, 2018
Indiana
HB 1219 [3]
Flame retardant chemical or mixture
  • Mattresses
  • Mattress pads
  • Upholstered furniture
≤ 0.1%
July 1, 2018
Maryland
HB 84 [4]
  • Deca-BDE
  • HBCD
  • TBBPA
  • TCEP
  • TDCPP
Childcare products for children under the
age of 12
≤ 0.1% each FR
(Regulations for implementations to be adopted by January 1, 2019)
New Hampshire
HB 1214 [5]
Flame retardant
Upholstered furniture
≤ 0.1%

January 1, 2019
New Jersey
A1362 [6]
A list of 10 defined FRs
  • Children’s products
  • Upholstered furniture
≤ 0.1% each FR
First day of the seventh month after enactment
New York
A9964 [7]
Organohalogen flame retardants
Childcare products for children aged three or younger
Prohibited
July 1, 2019
Virginia
HB 951 [8]
A list of defined FRs in subsection B
  • Children’s products
  • Upholstered furniture
Prohibited
July 1, 2019
Washington
HB 2632 [9]
Organohalogen flame retardants
  • Children’s products
  • Electronic enclosures
  • Mattresses
  • Residential upholstered furniture
≤ 1000 ppm
July 1, 2020

Table 1

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.

Next step:

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements for flame retardants for the US market.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

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