I think is better than to be on the other side," said Ben Nielsen, president of upholstery supplier Cambridge of California.
The proposed TB-117 smolder test would be performed on mockups of cushions.
said the new rule is likely to affect cotton print fabrics, which would need a barrier cloth that covers the sofa cushion before having a decorative cover placed on the outside.
This double upholstering could add up to $300 in costs to those sofas, he
While the former rule focused on foam, it did have a smolder element.
said much of the industry's fabric supply will already pass the new smolder test, although he
does worry about overseas fabric suppliers.
"Seventy to 80% of my fabrics come from imports today.
And I'm worried about a mill in China certifying that it meets the standard and find out later that it doesn't," he
Liability for failing fabric should fall on importers of record - instead of overseas fabric suppliers with no incentive to pay fines, he
The bureau enforces the rule by obtaining product at retail, testing it, and levying fines if it fails.
"Whoever imports the goods into the United States, it should be levied against them.
Not against the Chinese company where you can't collect it," Nielsen
Another concern is that the state's powerful chemical lobby will wage a public relations battle, or engage in delaying tactics that keep the current rule in effect, he
News reports have indicated that chemical interests spent $23 million killing bills in recent years that would have more closely regulated flame retardants.
The AHFA's Counts said he
doesn't expect to see a big push from upholstery manufacturers to tout that their products will no longer contain flame retardant chemicals.
"For that particular consumer that's concerned about it, this may be something that they pay close attention to," he