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

Citadel opens second compounding facility in China, near Shanghai

January 27, 2015 3:22 pm ET

Citadel Plastics Inc., the American manufacturer of thermoplastic and engineered composite compounds, has opened its second facility in China,...    More

Image

Sales, profit fall at DuPont

January 27, 2015 3:13 pm ET

Materials giant DuPont Co. will use almost all of the proceeds from an upcoming spinoff — one that includes its fluoropolymer and titanium...    More

Image

A. Schulman, Citadel continue buying blitz

January 27, 2015 11:32 am ET

A. Schulman Inc. and Citadel Plastics Inc. — two deal-happy materials firms — were at it again in the second half of 2014.    More

Image

Materials market sees more deals

January 27, 2015 11:26 am ET

Plastics materials deals showed modest growth in 2014, increasing 6 percent vs. their 2013 total.    More

Image

UK legislators reject fracking moratorium

January 26, 2015 12:19 pm ET

UPDATED: Environmental campaigners turned their anger on the United Kingdom's Labour party Monday after a vote to impose a moratorium on fracking acti...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

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

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

More Events