US Legislative Developments: Flame Retardants in Consumer Products
Several jurisdictions 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. 033/19
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 household 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 impact to the environment. In the US, several jurisdictions regulate flame retardants in consumer products, including 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, specific flame retardants in children’s products are also subject to reporting rules in the following states:
- Maine: Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products (Title 38, Chapter 16-D, Priority Chemical (PC); Chapter 889, Department of Environmental Protection)
- Oregon: ORS § 431A.253 to § 431A.280 (High Priority Chemicals of Concern for Children’s Health, (HPCCCH); OAR 333-016 2020, Health Authority)
- Vermont: 18 V.S.A. Chapter 38A (Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCC); CHCC List, Department of Health)
- Washington: RCW Chapter 70.240 (Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA), Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCC); CHCC Reporting List, Department of Ecology)
Since the beginning of 2019, several jurisdictions in the US have introduced bills to regulate a wide variety of flame retardants in certain consumer goods. These include, inter alia, bedding, children’s products, juvenile products, mattresses, mattress pads and upholstered furniture.
Highlights of these proposals are summarized in Table 1.
|Jurisdiction||Bill (2019 Session)||Flame Retardant
|Anchorage (Alaska)||AO No. 2019-15||Flame retardants*||Juvenile products, upholstered furniture and reupholstered furniture||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR||January 1, 2020|
|Arizona||SB 1280||Deca-BDE, HBCDD, TCEP and TDCPP||Children’s products and upholstered residential furniture||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR||Not specified|
|Indiana||HB 1134||Flame retardants**||Mattresses, mattress pads and upholstered furniture||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR||July 1, 2019|
|Massachusetts||SD 1573(companion billHD 3012)||Antimony trioxide, HBCD, Penta-BDE, Octa-BDE, SCCP (CP), TBB, TBBPA, TBPH, TCEP, TCPP and TDCPP||Bedding, carpeting, children’s products, residential upholstered furniture and window treatments||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR||June 1, 2020 for inventory|
|Minnesota||SF 321(companion billHF 359)||Halogenated, phosphorus-based, nitrogen-based and nanoscale||Children’s products, mattresses, residential or business textiles, and upholstered furniture||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR||
July 1, 2020 for manufacturers or wholesalers
July 1, 2021 for retailers
|New Hampshire||SB 193-FN||Flame retardants||Carpeting and upholstered furniture||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR||January 1, 2020|
|New York||A 3587||Organo-halogenated||Childcare products for children three years of age or younger||Prohibited||July 1, 2021|
|New York||A 1367||Halogenated, including TDCPP and phosphorus-bromine||Residential upholstered furniture||Prohibited||July 1, 2021|
|Prohibited (certification)||December 1, 2022|
|Tennessee||SB 67(companion billHB 1420)||Halogenated, organophosphorus, Organonitrogen, nanoscale and flame retardant on Washington DOE’s CHCC list as of January 1 2019||Mattresses, juvenile products and upholstered furniture||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR||January 1, 2020|
|West Virginia||HB 2341||Deca-BDE, HBCDD, Penta-BDE, TCEP and TDCPP||Children’s products, and upholstered residential furniture||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR||
July 1, 2021 for manufacturers or wholesalers
July 1, 2022 for retailers
*An FR that is halogenated, organophosphorus, organonitrogen, nanoscale, Penta-BDE, Octa-BDE, antimony, designated chemical under California Health and Safety Code § 105440 or under Washington Department of Ecology’s (DOE) Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCC) list.
** An FR that is halogenated, phosphorus-based, nitrogen-based, nanoscale or under 20 CFR 1910.1200(g) where ‘flame retardant’ appears on the substance safety data sheet (SDS).
||SCCP (CP)||85535-84-8||Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins|
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