Flame Retardants Used In Mattress Manufacturing:
What does Chemical free mattress mean? There are many laws federally and by state that can confuse the average consumer and retailers alike. Here is the breakdown of a few laws to understand what is chemical free and what the consumer needs to know when shopping for a mattress or bedroom furniture. There are two laws for bedroom furniture surrounding Flame Retardants: two categories:
- Upholstered furniture where the mattress is separate CA117 and ca117.2013
These are cushions on mattresses futon mattresses that are not removable from the sofa or bed
- Futon mattresses and bed mattresses 1633cfr 16
These are cushions or mattresses or futon mattresses that are removable from sofa or bed frame CA117.2013 California law CA117 is a regulated law on upholstered furniture in which cushions are not removed, such as click clack, sofa bed, and couches and such. It is where foam is not removable and fire retardants are in the foam a recent law that is passed is CA117.2013, a competent open flame test says that after 2015 fire retardants in upholstered sofa beds in upholstered foam must be not sold within any components in California by January 2015. The Law Ca117.2013 is a fire retardant test has changed by tested layers that must be passed. The reason why the law has changed is because studies have shown that the chemicals in the competent smolder test in fire retardants have shown more harmful through during a fire, and the toxins released during a fire becomes air Bourne when the foam disintegrates. Fire retardants such as wool, borate and Boric acid a natural fire retardant are not to be confused with man-made fire retardants. The chemicals in fire retardants that are not natural are TDCPP ( Chlorinated Tris), PentaBDE (pentabrominated diphenyl ether), and Firemaster 550. Importantly all the futon mattresses sold separately and made by The Futon Shop have only fire retardants such as boric acid (which can be omitted by a doctor’s note) and wool added as another natural flame Retardant. Going back to harmful fire retardants and laws: before Technical Bulletin 117.2013 was implemented upholstered fire retardant law testing of fire retardants was different. The mattress was tested by a cigarette as a smolder test not open flame. Now it is tested on all components, which is called a smolder test. A smolder test starts with testing the first fabric by the cigarette for example on the leather or microfiber sewn on fabric. It is tested on an l-shaped foundation and if it melts it passes. The test applies to upholstered furniture components: cover fabrics, interior fabrics, welt cords, decking materials, barrier materials, and padding materials included but not limited to: battings of natural or man-made fibers, foamed or cellular filling materials, resilient pads of natural or man made fibers and loose particulate filling materials (such as shredded polyurethane or feathers or down) The test method consists of several tests used to evaluate the cigarette ignition resistance of each component materials used in the manufacture of upholstered furniture. Each test is a mini assembly of testing a component from top to bottom and each component has a set procedure to follow. The Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC) developed 117-2013, with the assistance of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The goal is to create a program that could easily be checked by upholstered manufacturers. Federal regulations 16 CFR § 1632 and 1633, administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), require all mattresses, and futon mattresses sold in the United States to meet flammability standards. History of 16 CFR 1633: California was the first to introduce an open flame safety requirement for residential bedding with bulletin TB603. The mattress industry has worked with the CPSC to set an effective and practical national standard. The Consumer Product Safety Commissions had a big part in creating (CPSC) 16CFR Part 1633 mattress Open Flame Standard. Products that are to be tested under 16CFR part 1633: -mattress that is only sold without a foundation -a mattress and foundation sold as a set only -a mattress that is sold with the option of a foundation 1633 law exempts on of a kind mattresses or mattress foundation sets manufactured pursuant to a physicians written prescription or with other comparable written medical therapeutic specifications. The law also mandates the manufacturer to document quality assurance program, to prevent or minimize defects in the manufacturing process including inspection of all components. All laws from the above must be implanted with imported mattresses as well. Mattresses that are separate from a futon frame or futon mattresses and traditional mattresses are not contributed to ca117.
Futon and mattresses are attributed to law 16cfr-1633 which is federal. Dangerous flame retardants are being added to mattresses every day. Not all Fire retardants are the same. Here are the dangerous ones. A big one that is not natural is PBDE, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers. It is a common chemical that was used in mattresses as a fire retardant until 2005 when it was banned in the United States. Unfortunately all foam decomposes with age and Harmful PBDE in older mattresses and therefore continues to pollute ones bedroom.
According to a EPA study in 2008, PBDE is especially toxic to the development of the brain, leading to damage in learning and behavior. Unfortunately PBDE is used in China to manufacture fire resistant foams in furniture and mattresses, then imported into the US. Ensuring these chemicals are not in your mattresses, it is better to buy local, know that the rules and regulations are put in place to keep you safe and take the time to research exactly what is in your mattress. Often if not buying locally, other common toxic compounds to avoid in polyurethane foams are Melamine, TDCPP, APP and pentaBDE. Cotton sodium wraps are generally treated with cyanide. Fire Retardants should be eliminated from all mattresses Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey says, “ America’s system for regulating industrial chemicals is broken. Parents are afraid because hundreds of untested chemicals are found in their child's body." Many parents bring their newborn or toddler into their bed, unintentionally harming their children. The EPA and the Agency of Toxic Substances and disease registry does claim that, “ children do differ from adults in their susceptibility to hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens and neuro-developmental effects of the fire retardants commonly used in baby mattresses” Companies who manufacture their own mattresses give you the power to ask for a doctors note to omit any fire retardants that are mandated by law in their mattresses. When you buy from companies that import their products, you do not know much of where their product is coming from. These companies tend to buy in bulk; there is a risk of buying mattresses with unknown dangerous or banned chemical flame retardants.
Click to learn more about chemical free mattresses. (all are fire retardant free)
Click to learn more about Organic Mattress Manufacturing.
Click to learn why organic mattresses are better.
Click to learn what makes a mattress organic.
Click to learn about types of organic mattress ingredients.
Click here to read how you can obtain a doctors note to avoid all fire retardants including Borate.
Click here to find out if there will be fire retardants in your mattress.
Click here to read more about wool the natural flame retardant.
Click here discover what is off gassing.