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

ISO publishes international standard for measuring phthalates in toys

August 19, 2014 10:40 am ET

The Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published an international standard on phthalates used as plasticizers in...    More

Image

RTP expands very long fiber thermoplastic production to Mexico

August 19, 2014 9:47 am ET

RTP Co. has introduced very long fiber reinforced compounds at its Monterrey, Mexico, facility.    More

Image

Ineos takes its first step into UK shale exploration

August 18, 2014 1:15 pm ET

Ineos Group AG has moved into United Kingdom shale exploration with the purchase of BG Group’s 51 percent share of the shale section of a joint ...    More

Image

Construction firm invests in bioplastics maker Meredian

August 15, 2014 10:22 am ET

Bioplastics maker Meredian Inc. didn't have to go far to find a new investor.    More

Image

Sabic gets cracking on US shale gas imports

August 14, 2014 11:46 am ET

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. is modifying its cracker at Teesside, England, to handle shale gas imported from the United States. The $15 million crack...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events