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Rhode Island has revised its law on organohalogen flame retardants in residential upholstered bedding or furniture. The less stringent limits will become effective on January 1, 2020.

SAFEGUARDS | Hardgoods NO. 100/19

Child lying on bed

In October 2017, bill S166 in the US state of Rhode Island automatically became law without the governor’s signature (Safeguard 156/17). That bill, codified as Title 23 Chapter 23-26-3.1, restricts organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) in residential upholstered bedding or furniture to no more than 100 ppm for each OFR.

On July 8, 2019, the governor of Rhode Island signed the HB 5119 bill (Chapter 090, 2019) into law to revise its law on OFRs in residential upholstered bedding or furniture. This amendment contains, inter alia, several important provisions:

  • Adding ‘OFR-containing fabrics’ as one of the materials required for compliance
  • Clarifying OFR chemicals are additive flame-retardant chemicals (non-polymeric OFR chemicals)
  • Exempting certain components in residential upholstered bedding or furniture
  • Revising the limit value for OFRs to become less stringent
  • Clarifying that the latest prohibition (restriction) and any related regulations will not apply to products sold or in use before January 1, 2020

The provision requiring manufacturers of affected products to notify sellers of these products about the restrictions at least 90 days before the effective date of the restriction remains unchanged.

Highlights of the latest amendment (HB 5119, 2019) and a comparison with the existing law under SB 166 (2017) are summarized in Table 1.

Rhode Island General Laws
Title 23 ‘Health and Safety’ Chapter 23-26 ‘Bedding and Upholstered Furniture’
  HB 5119 (Chapter 090, 2019) SB 166 (Chapter 380, 2017)
Title An Act Relating to Health and Safety – Upholstered Furniture and Child Products Safety An Act Relating to Health and Safety – Child Products and Upholstered Furniture
Scope (material) Residential upholstered bedding or furniture (foams, plastics, textiles or fabrics) Residential upholstered bedding or furniture (foams, plastics or textiles)
Substance Organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) Organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs)
Requirement ≤ 1,000 ppm each OFR ≤ 100 ppm each OFR
Exemption
  • Internal electrical and electronic components of residential upholstered furniture or bedding
  • Residential furniture or bedding sold for use in commercial or public areas
---
Effective Date January 1, 2020* July 1, 2019 (see also HB 5119, 2019)
*Prohibition and any related regulation do not apply to products sold or in use before January 1, 2020
Table 1

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Next Step

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements for organohalogen flame retardants in residential upholstered bedding or furniture for the US state of Rhode Island.

For enquiries, please contact:

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

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