Chemtura files a legal challenge against Californian flammability standard

Jane Denny
Urethanes Technology International

Published: January 21, 2014 3:28 pm ET
Updated: January 21, 2014 3:32 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Polyurethane, Materials Suppliers, Government & Legislation, Furniture

Chemtura Corp. is seeking a judicial review of Californian lawmakers' decision to eliminate an open flame fire test from new regulations on the flammability of upholstered furniture.

The state's landmark smolder-only test — the TB 117-2013 standard — would become effective from the start of 2015. It poses a significant risk to consumers, the polyurethane additives Chemtura said in a news release.

As reported by Urethanes Technology International magazine earlier this year, Californian legislators proposed cancelling the requirement for foams to resist "open flame" ignition due to concerns over the potential for flame retardant chemicals to gradually migrate out of the foam.

Canceling the requirement for open flame resistance within furniture upholstery would prevent leakage of those chemicals into the environment.

Anne Noonan, senior vice president of industrial engineered products at Chemtura, said: "The revised rules require furniture makers to pass a cigarette 'smolder test' only.

The company claims that California's Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation has ignored the key requirement for upholstery to pass an "open flame" test too.

"It eliminates a vital requirement that all filling material used in upholstered furniture pass an 'open-flame' test to replicate a candle, match or lighter flame," added Noonan.

She said that the law if "left unchallenged… could tragically lead to more fires and more injuries, deaths and property damage nationwide."

The National Fire Protection Association has also lodged its objection to eliminating open-flame protection.

Although U.S. national statistics show that both smoldering cigarettes and open flames are significant sources of ignition, the relative fire threat from smoldering cigarettes continues to decline because of the significant drop in smoking and fire-safe cigarette laws, stated Chemtura. This fact emphasizes the importance of maintaining open-flame protection in a new or revised standard, the release said.

Chemtura has already written an open letter to California's Gov. Jerry Brown and collated some of the bureau's own evidence on the issue of open flame risk.

In 2008, the bureau stated that "any national furniture flammability standard must address the typical scenario of open flame ignition in upholstered furniture."


Comments

Chemtura files a legal challenge against Californian flammability standard

Jane Denny
Urethanes Technology International

Published: January 21, 2014 3:28 pm ET
Updated: January 21, 2014 3:32 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Italian compounder opening first US plant

October 30, 2014 9:45 am ET

The song of the South has led Italian compounder So.F.Ter Group to open its first plant in the United States in Lebanon, Tenn.    More

Image

Ineos closing Barex plant, exiting business

October 29, 2014 3:58 pm ET

Materials maker Ineos Group is closing its only global Barex-brand polyacrylonitrile (PAN) resin plant in Lima, Ohio. Ineos – based in Rolle,...    More

Image

DSM picks Augusta, Ga., for nylon plant

October 29, 2014 11:49 am ET

Materials firm Royal DSM NV has chosen Augusta, Ga., as the site of its new North American nylon resin plant.    More

Image

Teknor Apex expands production of recycled nylon to Europe

October 29, 2014 10:12 am ET

Materials firm Teknor Apex Co. is making its recycled nylon compounds available in Europe for the first time.    More

Image

Unplanned disruption in Texas hits Huntsman's quarterly earnings

October 29, 2014 9:30 am ET

Huntsman Corp. saw its earnings drop in the third quarter of 2014, due in part to an unplanned disruption at its Port Neches, Texas, plant.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events