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New Hampshire becomes the latest US state to regulate flame retardants (FRs) in residential upholstered furniture. The new restrictions will be implemented in phases, starting January 2020.

SAFEGUARDS | Hardlines NO. 131/19

Little girl jumping on sofa

On September 3, 2019, the governor of New Hampshire signed into law SB 193 ‘An Act Prohibiting the Sale of Certain Furniture and Carpeting with Flame Retardants’ (the Act) to restrict flame retardants to no more than 0.1% in residential upholstered furniture.

The Act creates a completely new Chapter 359-Q in ‘Title XXXI: Trade and Commerce’ under the laws of New Hampshire.

According to the Act, the flame-retardant restrictions do not apply to the following residential upholstered furniture:

  • Those that are second hand, including antique residential upholstered furniture
  • Those that are for public use in public facilities (which may need to meet other flammability requirements)
  • Those that include electrical or electronic components
  • Mattresses

Per the Act, manufacturers are obliged to provide a certificate of compliance within 30 days if it is requested by an attorney general (AG).

Highlights of the new Act are summarized in Table 1.

New Hampshire SB 193, Chapter 336, 2019
RSA 359-Q ‘Sale of Furniture with Flame Retardant Chemicals’
Substance Scope Requirement Effective Date
Flame retardants (FRs) Residential upholstered furniture* ≤ 0.1% each FR or a mixture that includes FR chemicals*
  • January 1, 2020 for manufacturers
  • January 1, 2021 for wholesalers and retailers**

*The following residential upholstered furniture are deemed to meet the requirements:

**Residential upholstered furniture acquired by wholesalers or retailers before January 1, 2021 is exempt

Table 1

New Hampshire joins a host of US jurisdictions regulating flame retardants in consumer products, including Anchorage (Alaska), California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, San Francisco, Vermont, Washington and Washington D.C. Although the scope of regulated flame retardants and products varies between jurisdictions, many are related to halogenated or organophosphorus compounds, but some place a blanket ban on FRs in specific products.

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Next Step

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest flame-retardant requirements for the US state of New Hampshire.

For enquiries, please contact:

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

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