Monday January 10, 2022
New York Law Restricts FR Classes in Some Products
The first deadline of a just-signed New York State law (S.4630-B/A.5418-B) on certain classes of flame retardants (FRs) affects electronics displays and stands. Companies will have until the end of 2022 to identify any flame retardants used. Such products also will be subject to a January 1, 2024, ban of FR classes covered by the law – halogenated, organophosphorus, organonitrogen, or nanoscale.
January 1, 2024, also applies to a similar ban for new mattresses and upholstered furniture. On January 1, 2023, such a ban will affect activities like reupholstery and repair. There are exemptions, such as for stitching threads or certain barrier materials on the bottoms of one-sided mattresses. Details of exemptions are on page 3 of the law (bit.ly/3zr3a6j), signed December 31 by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D).
Violators risks maximum fines of $1,000 to $2,500 per day, depending on the situations.
In a press release (on.ny.gov/3q0CLsN) about signing the bill, the governor asserted, "[T]hese toxic chemicals have limited value, if any, in preventing or suppressing fires, as other states that have enacted legislation have not experienced more fires or new safety concerns associated with the removal of those chemicals from products."
Passage follows last year 's announcement by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation (PSL, 9/20/21) that it favored a class-based approach to organohalogen FRs (OFRs) for deciding reporting needs for children's products.
The agency said it was relying on work done for CPSC by the National Academy of Sciences, which suggested (PSL, 5/27/19) that treating OFRs as a single class would be unfeasible, but splitting them into 14 subclasses might work. The project stemmed from a petition granted by CPSC in 2017 (PSL, 9/25/17). It sought a national ban of non-polymeric additive OFRs in children's products, residential furniture, mattresses/pads, and electronics enclosures.
In mid-2020 (PSL, 7/6/20), agency staff explained that the resulting work was proceeding in seven broad areas involving a list of chemicals, scopes of subclasses, risk assessments, toxicity assessments, best practices, identifying OFRs used in consumer products, and lessons and suggested updates.
CPSC upholstered furniture work since was affected by a U.S. law (PSL, 1/4/21) to adopt California's TB-117-2013.