Brown calls for revised flammability standards

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 22, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown charged the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation with the task of revising existing state flammability standards for manufactured upholstered furniture.  According to the Governor, several reports have found and demonstrated that current manufacturing practices use high levels of harmful toxic flame retardants that are dangerous to public health and the environment.  Brown has directed the Bureau to focus on modernizing manufacturer practices in an effort to reduce the use of toxic flame retardants in upholstered furniture and present their recommendations in a series of public workshops.

This action has broad implications for the Administration’s environmental agenda on chemical use and management.  Industry representatives have argued for years that such issues should be considered within the context and framework of the green chemistry laws and regulations that have yet to be finalized within the Department of Toxics Substances Control.  Despite these calls, the Administration seems to be taking an aggressive approach that could undermine the green chemistry program’s goals and valid science that was hoped to guide decisions rather than a precautionary approach being fervently pushed by the environmental community.

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Following the release of the Governor’s directive regarding flammability standards for the Bureau, the Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee rescheduled an informational hearing, previously postponed, for June 26th at 1:30 p.m. at the Capitol to discuss California’s furniture flammability requirements. The hearing will examine the effectiveness of California’s furniture flammability standards and of the environmental and human health impacts of flame retardant chemicals.

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