NY Governor Hochul Signs Flame Retardant Bill into Law, With Changes

As we reported last summer, the NY legislature passed a flame retardant bill (S 4630-B) that would prohibit the use of intentionally added halogenated, organophosphorus, organonitrogen and nanoscale FRs in mattresses, as well as upholstered furniture and electronic displays, sold after January 1, 2024.

This bill posed several problems for mattress manufacturers because it covered material in modacrylic and aramid fibers, 2 fibers used to make many FR barriers that mattress manufacturers use to meet the Part 1633 flammability standard. The bill as proposed exempted thread or fiber used to stitch mattress components together. In addition, ISPA persuaded the legislature to exempt from the bill’s prohibitions (1) antimony free modacrylic fiber used in mattresses that contain memory or gel foams and (2) aramid fibers used in filler cloth (on the bottom of a one-sided mattress), until January 1, 2026.

Following its passage in the legislature, the bill was sent to Governor Kathy Hochul for signature. ISPA urged her to make several changes to the bill. On New Year’s Eve, she announced that she had signed the bill after having negotiated several changes to the bill with the legislature’s leadership. These included:

  • Adding a requirement that manufacturers certify to retailers that their products meet the new law’s requirements.
  • Postponing the law’s effective date until December 1, 2024 (although she did not change the 2026 deadline for the modacrylic and aramid fiber exemptions).
  • Authorizing the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to set by regulation quantitative limits on how much of the flame retardant chemicals covered by the law may be used. This last change may provide an opportunity for the industry to work with DEC to provide certainty in the use of our fibers in mattresses.

The next step is for the legislature to formally approve these changes. Given that Governor Hochul negotiated these changes with legislative leadership, no further changes to the bill are expected during this final stage in the process.

We will continue to monitor and report on developments.