Minnesota to Control Flame Retardants in Furniture, Products for Children

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Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed a law that will expand the state’s current flame retardant restrictions and set limits on the use of firefighting foam with per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs).

The bill (HF 359) does not allow the manufacture or sale of residential upholstered furniture or children’s products containing any organohalogen flame retardant exceeding 1,000 parts per million (ppm) in any product parts. The restriction applies to “any chemical that contains one or more carbon elements and one or more halogen elements, including chlorine, fluorine, bromine, or iodine.”

The production or import of such items will be restricted starting Jul 1, 2021. Then, the retail prohibition will start a year later.

The new law expands the current flame retardant prohibition from four substances – TDCPP, decaBDE, HBCDD, and TCEP – since 2015. However, the also bill specified the following exemptions:

 

  • products or textiles with required federal flammability standard,
  • electronic components inside covered products,
  • parts of adult mattresses that are not made of foam and
  • fiber or thread used to sew mattress parts together.

 

The law will still allow

The law will still allow the use of polymeric flame retardants or those that have been determined ‘not likely to present an unreasonable risk’ as stated in TSCA’s section 5 or 6.

 

Firefighting foams

The law will also restrict starting July 1, 2020, the use of firefighting foam containing PFASs for testing or training purposes. The use of firefighting foam with PFASs should be reported within 24 hours to the Minnesota Fire Incident Reporting System. The report must include the purpose of using the product, as well as the treatment, containment, and disposal measures in place to minimize the release of the chemicals into the environment.

The bill was signed into law by the governor on May 22, 2019.

About Jack Schatz

Jack Schatz began writing about Proposition 65 and other U.S. environmental laws in 1994. He has also written extensively about Consumer Product safety and product liability issues as well. He is the publisher and co-author of the 2013 and 2017 and upcoming 2020 editions of the Proposition 65 Handbook.He was graduated by the San Diego State School of Journalism.
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