The new Federal flammability standard for children's sleepwear, sizes 7-14, becomes effective on May 1, 1975, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A flammability standard for children's sleepwear sizes 0-6X is already in effect.
The Commission plans to check compliance with the new flammability standard and related enforcement regulations, issued under the authority of the Flammable Fabrics Act, by inspecting a number of sleepwear manufacturers, importers, and retailers.
All children's sleepwear, up to size 14, manufactured or imported after that date must be flame-resistant. Sleepwear sizes 7-14 also must carry a label stating "Flame Resistant --U.S. Standard FF 5-74".
The Commission denied a number of requests to extend the effective date for labeling and recordkeeping regulations for the sleepwear standards. However, upon the April 18 request of the American Apparel Manufacturers Association, the Commission clarified the enforcement regulations for the sleepwear standards. Manufacturers will not be required to record fabric production unit numbers for fabrics made prior to May 1, 1975.
Manufacturers or importers also will be permitted to keep sales records of either a garment production unit identification number or a style number for garments sold. However, if the manufacturer uses style numbers, rather than garment production unit identification numbers, in the event of a recall, the manufacturer must notify all purchasers of that style number. Also the garment production unit number must be visible to consumers and be permanently attached to the garment, although it does not have to be carried on a separate label.
The Commission also temporarily suspended the regulations which specified the minimum letter size for the garment production unit identification number, but will require that the numbers be clear and legible to enable consumers and others to read them. At a minimum, the garment production unit letters must be no smaller than other lettering on the label.
The flammability standard and regulation do not prohibit retailers from selling non-complying garments manufactured before May 1. In an effort to determine how much non-complying sleepwear will still be on the market, CPSC is inspecting a segment of the sleepwear industry prior to May 1 to check inventories of goods made before that date. The Commission will try to find where non-complying sleepwear will be shipped and follow up with compliance inspections at the retail level to determine whether retailers are meeting their new requirements under the law. And the Commission staff will also check manufacturer preparations for production of complying garments.
Intensive inspectional coverage of sleepwear manufacturers after May 1 will also be initiated to ensure maximum compliance with the flammability requirements.
To help consumers differentiate between complying and non-complying sleepwear, the Commission has issued comprehensive display regulations for retailers.
After May 1, Commission staff members will inspect a number of retail stores selling children's robes, pajamas, and nightgowns to insure that non-complying garments are segregated by at least 36 inches from complying sleepwear. In addition, retailers must post display signs, in letters at least one inch high, identifying both the flame-resistant sleepwear and the sleepwear which does not comply.
CPSC is also using volunteer consumer deputies to help check retail stores for compliance with the display regulations.
In an August 1973 letter to executives of retail trade associations, CPSC Chairman Richard O. Simpson urged that retailers take "appropriate steps" to inform shoppers of the various choices available to them when purchasing children's sleepwear.
To insure that consumers can differentiate between flame-resistant and non-complying sleepwear, the Commission decided to issue mandatory display regulations.
Anyone seeking additional information of the compliance survey may contact the Bureau of Compliance, U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. 20207.
Consumers who would like to obtain more information on the new children's sleepwear standard and regulations may call the Commission's toll-free hotline 800-638-2772.