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CPSC Sets Final Mattress Standard Enforcement Plans

Release Date: October 06, 2011

Enforcement regulations for the labeling, recordkeeping, and guaranty requirements of the mattress flammability standard were published recently in the Federal Register, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced.

The mattress flammability standard was issued under the authority of the Flammable Fabrics Act and took effect June 22, 1973. Noncomplying mattresses were permitted to be manufactured for six months--as long as they were conspicuously and prominently labeled with a flammability warning. 

All mattresses and mattress pads produced after December 22, 1973, must meet requirements for cigarette ignition resistance-- the primary hazard in mattress fires.

The enforcement regulations which were proposed June 11 primarily address manufacturers' and importers' responsibilities for recordkeeping. Manufacturers must maintain written records which include evidence of compliance with chosen sampling plans, production unit identification, prototype and production test results and details, date and quantity of each sale or delivery and the name and address of the purchaser or recipient, and details of the flame retardant treatments used. These and other records must be kept for three years.

Retailers must keep records of items marketed or handled, their source, and date of receipt but are not required to record the names of individual consumers or the date of purchase.

Labeling regulations for mattress pads stipulate that any pad treated with a chemical fire retardant or containing any fire retardant treated components must be labeled "T." All treated pads must include precautionary instructions for washing and care.

All mattresses and mattress pads must have labels identifying their production unit.

Other recent Commission decisions related to the safety standard for mattresses include announcement of a procedure to permit the substitution of tape edge materials for mattresses during production and approval of a fifth alternate sampling plan for testing mattresses and mattress pads.

For a copy of the enforcement regulations and sample reporting forms or for other information, write to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. 20207.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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