CPSC Issues Misguidance on Flame Retardant Category

CPSC Issues Misguidance on Flame Retardant Category

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. 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.”

GRAPHIC: Three CPSC Commissioners Ignored Staff Expert Conclusions on OFRs

In September 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a guidance document that distorted the facts regarding additive, non-polymeric organohalogen flame retardants. The document’s findings were based on a prior CPSC vote, where three commissioners dismissed the recommendations of their own technical experts — and opted instead to support the claims of a group of special interests that have long sought to remove these chemicals from the marketplace. 
Here is a look at what the CPSC’s experts recommended along with a chart showing how the CPSC voted on the issue:  


CPSC: Consumer Product Safety Commission
FHSA: Federal Hazardous Substances Act
OFR: Additive, Non-Polymeric Organohalogen Flame Retardants