For the last several years the Massachusetts Legislature introduced and attempted to move anti-flame retardant legislation which would prohibit the use of antimony trioxide in mattresses. Antimony trioxide is present in modacrylic fiber, which is used in many mattress fire barriers. ISPA has consistently opposed this type of anti-FR bill and sought to exclude antimony trioxide from its scope. Action on this bill was dormant for several months. Just before Christmas, the legislature passed S.2988 and sent it to Governor Charlie Baker for his signature. ISPA asked Governor Baker to veto or amend S.2988 to exclude internal or inaccessible components.
Despite ISPA’s and other industry groups’ concerns, Governor Baker signed S.2988 into law on January 1 without either vetoing the bill or requesting that the legislature make any changes. Although this result is disappointing, it is not surprising given the overwhelming support that the bill had and the certainty that the legislature would have over-ridden any veto.
The new law prohibits the sale or import of covered products that contain 11 flame retardant chemicals, including antimony trioxide used in mattresses. The law will apply to inventory manufactured after December 31, 2021.
We are consulting with the American Chemistry Council and other industry groups that opposed this bill concerning further action that might be taken regarding the new law. We will also be involved in regulatory activity that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will be taking in 2021 as it implements these new requirements. We will keep you posted of those developments.
- You can find the new law here.
- An article reporting on the law can be found here.
Please let us know if you have feedback or questions on this development.