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MA FR Legislation Update

Massachusetts advances flame retardant ban

Science - Fire © Jag_cz - Fotolia.comMassachusetts’ senate has approved a bill to ban certain flame retardants from children’s products and home furnishings.

The measure (S2555) is aimed at residential upholstered furniture, bedding, carpeting, window treatments and products intended for children less than 12 years old.

If passed into law, it would prohibit the sale of such items if they contain, in any component part, more than 1,000 parts per million of any of the following substances or their analogues:

  • tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP);
  • tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP);
  • antimony trioxide;
  • hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD);
  • bis(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromophthalate (TBPH);
  • 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB);
  • chlorinated paraffins;
  • tris(1-chloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TCPP);
  • pentaBDE;
  • octaBDE; or
  • tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA).

The ban would not apply to products manufactured before 1 January 2019.

The bill, now under consideration by the House Ways and Means Committee, also contains a provision to allow for bans on additional chemicals.

This calls for the state’s department of environmental protection to assess, every three years, whether substances merit banning based on their meeting certain toxicity and usage criteria.

The measure cleared the senate last month on a 37-0 vote.

States move on flame retardants

Massachusetts’ action comes as other states look to address the potentially toxic class of substances.

Washington is working to develop policy recommendations on six flame retardants: TPP, TCPP, TBPH, V6, IPTPP and TBB. The move comes as part of a 2016 law that banned five flame retardants – TDCPP, TCEP, decaBDE, HBCD and additive TBBPA – from children’s products and residential furniture.

Last year, Rhode Island prohibited the sale of furniture containing organohalogen flame retardants, while Maine banned all chemical flame retardants from such items.

Meanwhile, a bill is working its way through the California legislature to act like Maine on the full class of substances.

More than a quarter of US states, this year, have been considering legislation to ban or restrict flame retardants in certain types of products.

And on a national level, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted last year to grant an NGO petition to begin a rulemaking that could see a ban on the use of organohalogen flame retardants in furniture, children’s products, mattresses and external cases of electronics.

North America editor