California Law Bans Future Flame Retardants
November 5, 2018
It’s a familiar story: a toxic substance gets phased out, only to be replaced with a chemically similar one that has the same toxic properties. An amendment to existing California law aims to stop this pattern of “regrettable substitution” by effectively banning whole classes of flame retardants in upholstered furniture, mattresses, and children’s products.
The covered classes—halogenated, organophosphorous, organonitrogen, and nanoscale flame retardants—may not be present in the product in concentrations above 1,000 parts per million. By prohibiting entire classes of chemicals, the law has the unprecedented effect of banning future flame retardants that may be developed.
“The State of California has found that flame retardant chemicals are not needed to provide fire safety,” the original law reads. The amendment goes into effect in January 2020.
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