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US State of Maryland Expands Flame Retardant Law

SafeGuardSToys and Juvenile Products, Hardgoods, SoftlinesMay 28, 2020

Maryland has revised its definition of a ‘childcare product’ and restricts flame retardants in four categories of consumer goods. These changes will become effective on June 1, 2021.

On May 8, 2020 the US state of Maryland enacted SB 447 (the Act), without the governor’s signature, to revise its existing law on flame retardants. The provisions in the Act contain two important changes:

1. Revising the definition of “childcare product” under Health-General §24-306:

  • A “childcare product” means a consumer product intended for use by a child under the age of 3 years, including a baby product, toy and car seat, but it does not include a product regulated under §24-306.1

2. Adding a completely new Health-General §24-306.1:

  • Restricting flame retardants to no more than 0.1% in juvenile products, mattresses, upholstered furniture or reupholstered furniture (‘Regulated products’)
  • Providing definitions for flame retardant chemicals and each of the Regulated products
  • Providing the following exemptions:
    • Electronic components or their casings in ‘Regulated products’
    • Components of upholstered or reupholstered furniture other than cover fabrics, barrier materials, resilient filling materials and decking materials
    • Threads or fibers when used for stitching mattress components together
    • Components of an adult mattress other than foams

According to the definitions in the Act, ‘juvenile products’ do not include:

  • Products that are not primarily intended for use in the home, including motor vehicles, watercraft, aircraft and other vehicles as well as their components
  • Products regulated under 49 CFR 571 ‘Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards’ 
  • Consumer electronic products
  • Products regulated under (preceding) Health-General §24-306

The Act directs the Department of Health to adopt regulations to implement the Act by June 1, 2021.

Highlight of the Act are summarized in Table 1.

Chapter 555 (Engrossed SB447, 2020)
An Act Concerning Public Health – Products Containing a Flame Retardant Chemical
Annotated Code of Maryland
Flame Retardant
Scope RequirementEffective Date
§ 24-306
  • TCEP
Childcare products≤ 0.1% each FR
June 1, 2021
§ 24-306.1
Flame Retardants
  • Juvenile Products1
  • Mattresses (16 CFR 1632.1)
  • Upholstered Furniture
  • Reupholstered Furniture
≤ 0.1% each FR
June 1, 2021
¹Consumer products intended for use by children under 12, including bassinets, booster seats, changing pads, children’s nap mats, floor playmats, high chairs, high chair pads, infant bouncers, infant carriers, infant seats, infant swings, infant walkers, nursing pads, nursing pillows, playpen side pads, play yards, portable hook-on chairs and strollers 

Table 1

Since 2008, Maryland has regulated several flame retardants, including

  • ≤ 0.1% for each of pentabrominated diphenyl ether (PentaBDE) and octabrominated diphenyl ether (OctaBDE) in products  (Environmental §6-1202)
  • ≤ 0.1% decabrominated diphenyl ether (DecaBDE) in products (Environmental §6-1202.1)
  • ≤ 0.1% for each of tris-(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) and tris-(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) in child care products (and toys) for children under the age of 3 (Health-General §24-306, SafeGuardS 104/14)

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