California law labels for mattresses clarified

At the request of several manufacturers and the International Association of Bedding and Furniture Law Officials, the California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation has clarified part of its labeling requirement for mattresses.

In the past, the state’s Technical Bulletin 117, which contains flame– and smolder–resistance standards for upholstered furniture, has required that mattresses containing non–flame–retardant polyurethane foam carry a warning label.

Some producers wanted to know if their mattresses still need to carry such a label in addition to the new label required by Technical Bulletin 603, the state’s open–flame mattress standard, which is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2005.

In its monthly newsletter, the law association reports it received this response to the question from the California bureau: “Effective Jan. 1, 2005, the requirement for the TB 117 ‘non–flame–retardant foam’ warning label will be dropped since mattresses manufactured after that date for sale in California will, by law, be substantially more flame resistant than those manufactured prior to that date. While many of these products will still likely contain non–FR foam, the requirement for the finished product to withstand major burning for 30 minutes, after contact with open flame, will render them much safer.”

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