Chemtura sues California over new flammability standard

California has adopted a new flammability standard through a controversial regulation (Technical Bulletin 117) that will allow manufacturers to make furniture and baby products that do not contain flame retardant chemicals. The revised regulation went into effect on Jan. 1, when manufacturers can begin making products to the new standard. They have a year to complete the transition and must be in full compliance by Jan. 1, 2015.

California's adoption of TB 117 in 1975 mandated the use of flame retardants in upholstered furniture and baby product foams/fillings in the U.S. and Canada. The "open flame" flammability test was the standard for determining flammability. However, an extensive investigative report in the Chicago Tribune evaluated the efficacy and safety of the flame retardants, which caused a number of agencies to begin looking at that standard. That, along with consumer concern, prompted the changes to California's regulations.

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