Recently Plastics News reported on an initiative by the National Association of State Fire Marshals to build support for national furniture flammability legislation, (“Sununu brought into fiery debate,” June 25, Page 22). The writer did not accurately describe the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry's view of California Technical Bulletin (TB) 117 [a small-scale component test for fabrics and flexible polyurethane foam used in furniture].
API's views of the current version of TB 117 are consistent with those of the Consumer Product Safety Commission as reflected in their 1997 statement: “California TB-117 requires that component materials resist small open flame ignition. TB-117 is, however, a 'minimum' standard that would not, if federally mandated, ensure a substantial reduction in the risk of small open flame ignition of finished articles of furniture.”
API supports the development of national standards for fire safety of residential home furnishings and consumer information to address the entire range of residential fire safety concerns. The details of this support can be found in our position statement on residential home furnishings fire performance and in our March 30 press release on this subject.
We are encouraged by the expressed goal of the California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation to revise TB 117 from a component test for some materials to a composite-based standard that will be more meaningful and representative of residential furniture fire safety performance. API has submitted comments and recommendations to the Bureau on this endeavor.
In addition, we are participating with other concerned organizations in research efforts that will help all governmental authorities develop more appropriate standards for upholstered furniture.
Your readers can learn more about API's efforts on fire safety issues at www.polyurethane.org.
Fran Walker Lichtenberg
Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry