The Urethane Blog

PFA Roundtable at May Meeting

Polyurethane Foam Association Schedules Industry Roundtable Discussions On Critical Issues For May Meeting


Sessions Will Feature Experts Addressing Isocyanates, Flame Retardants, Volatile Emissions


LOUDON, TN (April 23, 2018)—At its upcoming May meeting in St. Petersburg, FL, the Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA) is devoting an afternoon session usually reserved for technical papers to a series of roundtable discussions conducted by industry experts. The sessions will focus on three critical topics for the industry:

  • Isocyanates
  • State and Federal Regulation of Flame Retardants
  • Volatile Emissions in Auto Cabins and Interior Environments

According to Robert Luedeka, Executive Director, PFA’s Executive Committee made the decision to change the program based on industry interests.

“These are bottom-line issues for our members, and there is significant activity among regulators, NGOs, and other organizations that could affect our industry,” Luedeka said. “These roundtable discussions will help our members understand the current challenges, and what PFA and other industry stakeholders can do to manage them.”

The Industry Roundtables will take place on Thursday afternoon, May 24, from 1-5pm. Sessions will focus on informing PFA members on the status of issues and gathering their input to determine future courses of action. Roundtables include:


Isocyanates (Panelists: Bobby Bush, Jr. HSM Solutions; Dan Dubblestyne, Woodbridge Group; and Mark McKinney, BASF.)

Scientific findings, even erroneous ones, can have real world impacts. New recommendations on isocyanate exposure may be contradictory to current industry best practices. The panel will comment on how industry can affect scientific determinations, and educate regulators and product users about best practices in workplace safety and product stewardship.

State and Federal Regulation of Flame Retardants (Panelists: Joel Tenney, ICL; Lynn Knudtson, Future Foam; and Don Coleman, Upholstered Furniture Action Council.)

In the last decade, multiple states have acted to restrict the use of various flame retardants in furniture, mattresses and children’s products and some require labeling of FR content. Regulatory requirements can be inconsistent. This panel will discuss strategies for working with firefighters, NGO’s and lawmakers to achieve a more coherent, harmonized approach to FR regulation.

Volatile Emissions in Auto Cabins and Interior Environments (Panelists: John Sebroski, Covestro; Bill Gollnitz, Plastomer; and Rob Borgogelli, Evonik)

Volatile emissions from various materials used in interior applications are drawing increasing scrutiny from the supply chain, and programs such as the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL), and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) are placing additional pressure on manufacturers who use flexible polyurethane foam to declare more information about chemical content. This panel will cover what foam producers and their chemical suppliers are doing to limit potential product emissions, and how to address unreasonable deselection initiatives.


To attend the roundtables, register for PFA’s Spring Meeting at The Renaissance Vinoy in St. Petersburg. For registration details, visit

The Polyurethane Foam Association is a trade association founded in 1980 to educate

customers and other groups about flexible polyurethane foam (FPF). This includes providing facts on environmental, health and safety issues and technical information on the performance of FPF in consumer and industrial products. FPF is used as a key comfort component in most upholstered furniture and mattress products, along with automotive seating, medical devices, and numerous other applications.