Frequently Asked Questions About Flame Retardant Limits for Children's Products and Residential Upholstered Furniture
Beginning July 1 the use of five flame retardant chemicals is restricted in children’s products and residential upholstered furniture (RCW 70.240.025). These flame retardants cannot exceed concentrations of 1,000 parts per million:
Who must comply?
The flame retardant restrictions apply to residential upholstered furniture or children’s products for sale in Washington. That could mean online or in brick and mortar stores. This affects:
Manufacturer includes any person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, governmental entity, organization, or joint venture that produces residential upholstered furniture or children's products.
Can I sell existing stock?
No, you may not sell products containing these flame retardants after July 1, 2017. This also applies to products delivered to a Washington store prior to July 2017.
How will I know if I have these products?
Manufacturers are required to notify retailers or sellers by April 1, 2017 if their products contain these restricted flame retardants.
What if a company sells a product containing one of these flame retardants at a concentration over 1,000 ppm after July 2017?
The manufacturer must recall the product and reimburse the retailer or any other purchaser for the product.
Why does Ecology limit these chemicals?
Flame retardants are chemicals used in a wide variety of products, including foam, plastics, and textiles. They’re added to products to meet flammability standards with the intention of slowing the spread of fire.
Over time, flame retardants can migrate out of consumer products and collect in dust particles. Tests have found those chemicals in people and the environment.
The health effects of exposure to flame retardant chemicals include cancers, endocrine and reproductive issues, and neurological and developmental disorders.
Read more about this in Flame Retardants – A Report to the Legislature.
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