CPSC Issues Misguidance on Flame Retardant Category

CPSC Recommendations Could Undermine Fire Safety

WASHINGTON (SEPTEMBER 28, 2017) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today published a guidance document in the Federal Register discouraging businesses and consumers from using or purchasing additive, non-polymeric organohalogen flame retardants in children’s products, upholstered furniture sold for use in residences, mattresses and plastic casings surrounding electronics. In response to this development, the North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA) released the following statement:

“Today’s actions from CPSC are misguided and could jeopardize the safety of products in the future. CPSC’s guidance is not consistent with the state of the science and ignores CPSC Staff’s own science-based review as well as the regulatory determinations made by government authorities around the world. There is a broad range of science from academics, government and industry regarding the safety of these products. Equally important are the potential implications this guidance has for overall product safety as the guidance fails to fully consider critical issues around fire safety. In the last few years, there have been hundreds of recalls of consumer products based on fire hazards.

“Fortunately, the guidance CPSC has issued is non-binding. We will actively communicate with the affected manufacturing sectors and businesses to clarify CPSC’s actions merely constitute a recommendation and that the guidance needs to be evaluated based on the state of the science and the need to fully consider all aspects of product safety, including fire safety.

“The value chain should feel confident that they can continue to use these chemistries in certain applications consistent with existing national and international regulations while CPSC conducts its further analysis of these substances.”

Contact: Bryan Goodman (202) 249-6510
Email: bryan_goodman@americanchemistry.com

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The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $768 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for fourteen percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.