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From Home Furnishing Business

Fire Safety Coalition Defends TB 117

A coalition of fire safety and health groups has intervened to support the updated California furniture flammability regulations contained in Technical Bulletin 117.

On Friday, Earthjustice filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the California Professional Firefighters, Center for Environmental Health, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council and Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, in order to support the revised regulations issued by California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation.

The revised furniture flammability standard provides improved protections against smoldering ignition sources (such as smoldering cigarettes on fabric) which are the major source of upholstered furniture fire deaths. It also allows manufacturers to satisfy the standard, while reducing their reliance on harmful flame retardant chemicals.

The coalition believes the revised standard provides better protections to both firefighters and consumers. When flame retardant-treated furniture burns, it releases more carbon dioxide, smoke and soot than untreated furniture, and also produces known carcinogens, increasing the health and safety risks to firefighters and consumers. In addition, even in the absence of fires, many flame retardants easily migrate into household dust and indoor air, and have been linked to a range of adverse health effects, from reduced IQs in children, reduced fertility, endocrine and thyroid disruption, and impaired fetal and infant development.

"The California furniture flammability standard is followed by manufacturers around the nation," said Lou Paulson, president of the California Professional Firefighters. "The revised standard provides better protections for firefighters and consumers not just in California but elsewhere in the United States."

Paulson is a declarant in the case and submitted comments.



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