Flame retardant rules have changed.
In 2013, California announced plans to transform its fire safety standards by dropping California Technical Bulletin 117, the 1975 law that required foam used in furniture cushions to withstand a 12-second exposure to small, open flame.
This requirement led to the widespread use of chemical additives to slow the spread of flame.
Mounting evidence has shown these chemicals to have serious health effects, including increased breast cancer rates in fire fighters, attention problems and neurological effects in children exposed to these flame retardants during infancy.
The change in flame retardant rules now requires upholstery fabric to resist a smoldering cigarette.
When adopted, this change in flame retardant laws impacted the entire furniture industry.
The new law, called “TB 117-2013″ doesn’t forbid furniture manufacturers to use the chemicals. Instead, it sets a new flammability test — known as a “smolder test — that furniture makers can meet without using the flame-retardant chemicals.
How does this change relate to designers planning to take the NCIDQ exam?
We recommend that our Qpractice members be aware of this change.
You’ll need know about Product and Material Coordination, including Life safety (e.g., flammability, toxicity, slip resistance) for the IDPX Exam.