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From Home Furnishing Business

Intertek Gains Approval to Certify Foam

Intertek in Kentwood, Mich., has been approved by the Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam/CertiPUR-US board of directors to certify flexible polyurethane foam for use in upholstery and mattresses.

The company is now able to conduct the content analysis and emissions testing to determine if submitted foams meet the requirements outlined in the U.S. Voluntary Physical Performance and Environmental Guidelines for Prime Flexible Polyether Polyurethane Foam for Use in Furniture and Bedding.

"The process by which a lab is approved is rigorous," said Mike Crowell, executive director of CertiPUR-US. “Intertek was thoroughly vetted by our board and our technical advisory group and had to pass round robin testing with sample foams to show results matched results of other approved labs on identical foams."

Few labs have the equipment and capacity to do all the testing required, which is one of the conditions for being an approved lab.

"As an industry leader in bedding and furniture testing, Intertek is always looking for ways to improve the experience for our clients," said Brian Kneibel, Intertek business development manager. "We're pleased to be an approved lab offering this testing service to determine compliance with CertiPUR-US requirements to foam manufacturers around the world."

Three other laboratories that are approved for testing compliance with CertiPUR-US program requirements are located in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Certified flexible polyurethane foam products are analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories and are certified to be made without ozone depleters; made without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP ("Tris") flame retardants; made without lead and heavy metals; made without a formaldehyde; made without phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission; and low VOC emissions for indoor air quality. 

In addition to foam producers submitting foams for testing, the CertiPUR-US program itself uses the approved labs to conduct testing of foam samples acquired through random on-site foam production plant checks of participating producers.

"We are very pleased to welcome this distinguished company with worldwide offices and a solid reputation," Crowell said. "Adding a U.S.-based testing facility provides more choices for the nearly 30 foam producers—from the U.S., Canada, China, Mexico and Italy—participating in the program and certifying  87 foam families on an annual basis."

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