US State of Massachusetts Restricts Flame Retardants in Consumer Goods
Massachusetts regulates 11 flame retardants in 5 categories of product. These will become effective on December 31, 2021.
SAFEGUARDS | Consumer ProductsNO. 007/21
On January 1, 2021, the governor of Massachusetts signed H4900 into law to regulate 11 flame retardants (FRs) in 5 categories of consumer goods (the Act). The Act adds new Section 28 to Chapter 21A of the General Laws to restrict each of the FRs to no more than 1,000 ppm in any component of the product.
According to the definitions in the Act, bedding, carpeting, children’s product, residential upholstered furniture and window treatment have the following meaning:
- Bedding means any bedding material, including sleeping bags and other stuffed items for reclining or sleeping
- Carpeting means any fabric floor covering, including carpet padding
- Children’s product means a consumer product for use by children 12 years of age or younger
- Residential upholstered furniture means seating or other upholstered products for indoor or outdoor use in or at a home or other dwelling intended for residential occupancy
- Window treatment means blinds, curtain materials or shades
Per the Act, manufacturers (which also includes importers and distributors) are obliged to notify retailers and others who sell these FR-containing products of the passage of this new law by July 1, 2021.
Highlights of the new Act are summarized in Table 1.
|H4900 (Chapter 261 of the Acts of 2020) ‘An Act to protect children, families, and firefighters from harmful flame retardants’ adding Section 28 to Chapter 21A of the General Laws
|Flame Retardant (FR)||Scope*||Requirement||Effective Date|
||≤ 1,000 ppm each FR
||December 31, 2021**
|*The following products are exempt: 1) motor vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and 2) second-hand products
**Products manufactured before this date are exempt
|7||Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins
Massachusetts joins a host of jurisdictions in the US regulating flame retardants in consumer products, including Anchorage (Alaska), California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, San Francisco, Vermont, Washington and Washington DC. It is important to note that the scope of restriction is specific to each of these jurisdictions. Additionally, the states of Maine, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington require disclosure information on hazardous chemicals, including flame retardants, in children’s products.
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