Revisions to New York State’s new law on flame retardants in upholstered furniture, mattresses and electronic enclosures include limiting the scope of flame retardants in electronic display enclosures and displays for annual reporting, as well as new compliance dates.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer ProductsNO. 019/22

 SG 01922 Sofa

In December 2021, New York State approved S4630B (companion A5418B) to regulate flame retardants (FR) in upholstered furniture, mattresses and electronic enclosures by adding Title 10 to Article 37 of the state’s Environmental Conservation Law (SafeGuardS 8/22). 

The new law, Chapter 829 of the laws of 2021, contains a provision allowing the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to adopt rules and regulations to implement the law.

According to the definitions in the new law, the following are exempt from the scope of furniture and mattresses:

  • Electronic components of mattresses, reupholstered furniture, or upholstered furniture, or associated casings for such electronic components
  • Threads or fibers for stitching mattress components together
  • The natural fibers wool, silk and other animal fibers
  • Textiles made from modacrylic fiber components without antimony trioxide when used internally as a barrier material in a memory foam or gel foam mattress or aramid fibers when used in the fabric that covers the bottom (non-sleep surface) of a mattress that has a sleeping surface on only one side of the mattress (this exemption will expire on January 1, 2026) 

On January 24, 2022, the governor of the state of New York signed S7737 (companion A8723) into law to amend Title 10 to Article 37 of the Environmental Conservation Law, in relation to the regulation of chemicals in upholstered furniture, mattresses and electronic enclosures as proposed in S4630B/A5418B. This revision contains, inter alia, several important changes to the aforementioned new law:

  • Clarifies that ‘organohalogen flame retardant chemical’ means a chemical containing at least one carbon-halogen bond and resists or inhibits the spread of fire or as a synergist to chemicals that resist or inhibit the spread of fire
  • Clarifies that custom upholsterers do not include manufacturers of new, ready to be sold furniture
  • Pushes back the compliance date for items 2 to 4, per Table 1 below
  • Limits the scope of flame retardants to organohalogens in item 1, per Table 1 below
  • Introduces a provision where sellers of mattresses, upholstered furniture, or electronic displays, or reupholstered furniture components for custom upholsterers, will not be in violation of the law if these economic operators can show that they relied in good faith on the manufacturer’s signed Certificate of Compliance (CoC) indicating compliance with the requirements in the amended new law

Highlights of the latest amendment and exemptions from S4630B are summarized in Table 1.

New York State, S7737 (Chapter 11, 2022) amending Title 10 ‘Regulation of Chemicals in Upholstered Furniture, Mattresses and Electronic Enclosures’ to Article 37 of the Environmental Conservation Law (as Proposed in S4630B & A5418B, 2021)

Item

Flame Retardant (FR)

Scope

Requirement

Effective Date

1 Organohalogens
Enclosures or stands in electronic displays1
Products are prohibited to be sold unless the manufacturer/importer has submitted an annual report identifying all of the FRs used in the product’s enclosure or stand in a form determined by DEC
December 31, 2022
2 Prohibited if intentionally added, or if the FR concentration is equal to or greater than the level set by DEC (individually and sum)
December 1, 2024
3 Halogenated,
organophosphorus,
organonitrogen and
nanoscale chemicals
Upholstered furniture,
Mattresses
Prohibited if intentionally added, or if the FR concentration is equal to or greater than the level set by DEC (individually and sum)
December 1, 2024
4 Upholstered furniture,
Reupholstered furniture
Custom upholsterer is prohibited from using intentionally added FR-containing replacement components, or if the FR concentration is equal to or greater than the level set by DEC, to repair, reupholster, re-cover, restore, or renew products (individually and sum) December 1, 2025

1The following items are exempt from the definition of electronic display:

  • All-in-one video conference systems
  • Displays that are integrated with appliances and are not available for purchase as separate products by end-users
  • Electronic displays with a screen ≤ 100 cm² (15.5 inches2)
  • Projectors and virtual reality headsets

Table 1

This amendment becomes effective on the same date and in the same manner as Chapter 829 of the laws of 2021 (S4630B/A5418B). 

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