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The US state of Minnesota’s governor has signed into law bill HF 359, which will expand the scope of existing flame retardant rules. In addition, they have prohibited the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS chemicals) in Class B firefighting foams.

Minnesota’s previous law was signed in 2015, covering four organo-halogenated flame retardants (OFRs) in children’s products and upholstered residential furniture.

Signed on May 22, 2019, bill HF 359 strengthens these existing rules by:

  • Expanding scope to include:
    1. Products for children under the age of 12
    2. Upholstered residential furniture
    3. Mattresses (previously not included)
    4. Residential textiles (previously not included)
  • Covering all organo-halogenated flame retardants (previously, Deca-BDE, HBCDD, TCEP and TDCPP)

The requirement remains the same: ≤ 1000 ppm for each organo-halogenated flame retardant.

The following items are exempted:

  • Children’s products, mattresses, upholstered residential furniture, or residential textiles where a federal flammability standard exists
  • Electronic components of children’s products, mattresses, upholstered residential furniture, or residential textiles or associated casings
  • Components of an adult mattress other than foam
  • Previously owned products containing OFRs
  • Threads or fibers for stitching mattress components

The requirement for products for children under the age of 12 also exempts:

  • Consumer electronics and outdoor sports equipment (section 116.0405 Clauses 10 and 11)
  • Food, beverages, dietary supplements, biological or pharmaceutical products
  • Medical devices, public assembly tents (section 325F.03), tents and sleeping bags (section 325F.04)
  • Toys subject to ASTM F963

The new law will become effective in two phases:

  1. July 1, 2021 - manufacturers or wholesalers
  2. July 1, 2022 - retailers

Stakeholders are advised to now check their products comply with Minnesota’s latest flame retardant laws.

SGS Home Furnishings & Houseware Services

SGS helps companies deliver well-designed, functional, durable and safe products to their customers. They have the furniture industry, regulatory and technical expertise to check a products’ compliance against relevant international standards and/or your own specifications. Using their global network of laboratories, they provide a range of services, including analytical testing and consultancy for flame retardants in consumer products for the US and international markets. Learn more about SGS’s Home Furnishings & Houseware Services.

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full Minnesota, USA, Strengthens Flame Retardant Law and Bans PFAS Chemicals in Firefighting Foams SafeGuardS.

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Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
Tel: (+852) 2774 7420

Email: crs.media@sgs.com

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