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Upholstery Group Endorses New Flammability Standard

Washinigton Outlook

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Upholstery Group Endorses New Flammability StandardA coalition of six major upholstery fabric manufacturers has endorsed a proposal by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff that for the first time would regulate cigarettes under the Flammable Fabrics Act. The proposed standard calls for the use polyurethane foam construction or treatments with flame retardants or use of a qualified flame retardant barrier. While endorsing the proposal in general, Michael Shelton, chairman of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute Upholstered Fabrics Committee, expressed some concerns about costs to US fabric manufacturers and the need to ensure equity with domestic and imported fabrics. He also said there is a need for protection from future liability if flame retardants required by the standard are at a later date found to be toxic to consumers or the environment. Testimony at a CPSC hearing indicated that furniture and fabric makers are in general agreement on the proposed standard. Because CPSC procedures are usually long and drawn out, it will be some time before a final standard is proposed and adopted by the full commission.By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent October 2003