A06260 Summary:

BILL NOA06260
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01367
 
SPONSORGunther
 
COSPNSRMagnarelli, Buttenschon, Wallace, D'Urso, Bronson, McDonald, Steck
 
MLTSPNSREnglebright
 
Add Art 37 Title 9 37-0901 - 37-0905, En Con L
 
Prohibits the use of chemical flame retardants on residential upholstered furniture beginning July first, 2020.
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A06260 Actions:

BILL NOA06260
 
03/04/2019referred to environmental conservation
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A06260 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A6260
 
SPONSOR: Gunther
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting the use of chemical flame retardants   PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to limit residential exposure to chemical flame retardants and to increase fire safety.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends Article 37 of the Environmental Conservation Law by adding a new Title 9, entitled Chemical Flame Retardants. This title defines "chemical flame retardants," prohibits the use of chemical flame retardants, and increases fire safety by requiring manufacturers to certify, beginning December 1, 2021, that residential upholstered furni- ture offered for sale in New York meets the requirements of the "open flame flammability standard." "Open flame flammability standard" is defined as a standard, developed pursuant to the rules and regulations of the department, in consultation with the office of fire prevention and control, requiring residential upholstered furniture to not lead to flashover for at least fifteen minutes of time. The standard must be reviewed no less than ever two years and include an assessment of the standards used in other states. The section also authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to approve exemptions to the prohibition on the use of chemical flame retardants upon a determination that the proposed chemical flame retardant does not pose a risk to human health or the environment. Section 2 is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: The objective of this bill is to prohibit the use of chemical flame retardants on residential upholstered furniture because of their propen- sity to combust with rapidity, as well as their adverse health conse- quences. These retardants are ineffective in preventing the spread of fires and, more importantly, when combusted the chemicals that are released form harmful byproducts that have the potential to affect the health of firefighters, especially female firefighters. Recent studies have shown that approximately 94 percent of couches manufactured after 2005 contain chemical flame retardants. The amount of chemical flame retardants present in this type of upholstered furniture is capable of being measured in pounds. Flame retardant chemicals were added to upholstered furniture in response to a 1975 California flammability standard study, which was conducted in response to concerns about the large number of cigarette fires. However, the increased sale of flame-retardant chemicals has not eradicated this issue because the chemicals are so ineffective. The Chicago Tribune quoted an author of one study as saying, "the fire just laughs at it." The vast majority of furniture sold in the United States meets the Cali- fornia standard due to California's large market share. However, scien- tific studies have demonstrated that meeting the requirements of the California standard does not accurately reflect real-world fire behav- ior. A study conducted by the United States Department of Commerce National Bureau of Standards found that there were no significant differences in fire resistance between treated and untreated foams. Not only are chemical flame retardants ineffective, they pose dangerous health risks when used daily as well as when ignited. During normal use, chemical flame retardants migrate out of furniture and into house- hold dust. Toddlers typically show three times the level of flame retar- dants in their blood streams as their parents because of their tendency to put household items in their mouth. This exposure is on top of what babies are born with. Furthermore, some chemical retardants are suspected as carcinogenic. When combusted, chemical flame retardants can form harmful by-products that have potential adverse health risks to firefighters. A recent study in San Francisco found that firefighters had two to three times the rate of flame retardants in their blood stream than the average. 110 female firefighters in the study experi- enced a risk of breast cancer that was nearly six times higher than the general population. Upholstered furniture can be highly volatile when ignited and has become a leading cause of firefighter and household deaths because of the rapid propensity to reach an inflamed, all-consumed stage, called flashover. Statistics demonstrate that when firefighters are able to arrive at a scene before the contents of a room have reached flashover, a fire is able to be contained. This bill prohibits the sale of residential uphol- stered furniture in New York that becomes fully engulfed and subject to flashover in less than fifteen minutes from the time it is exposed to a heat source and prohibits the use of certain chemical flame retardants that are added to the composition of the furniture. Furthermore, the chemical flame retardants as stipulated in the legislation, are recog- nized as posing a danger to both firefighters and citizens because of their toxic qualities when used every day, as well as their particular gaseous qualities when inhaled during a fire. For all of the foregoing reasons it is imperative that this bill is enacted.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-2018: A3368A Cal. 266/S742A referred to Environmental Conservation 2015-2016: S.3844-A/A 7837-A Passed Assembly. 2013-2014: A.6557 Passed Assembly. A.6557 of 2013-2014: Passed Assembly   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law; provided however, that section 37-0905 shall take effect June 1, 2022, and the Department of Environmental Conservation may adopt regulations necessary to implement the act prior to the effective date.
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A06260 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          6260
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      March 4, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. GUNTHER, MAGNARELLI, BUTTENSCHON -- read once and
          referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  environmental  conservation law, in relation to
          prohibiting the use of chemical flame retardants
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.    Article  37  of  the  environmental conservation law is
     2  amended by adding a new title 9 to read as follows:
     3                                   TITLE 9
     4                          CHEMICAL FLAME RETARDANTS
     5  Section 37-0901. Definitions.
     6          37-0903. Prohibition on the use of chemical flame retardants.
     7          37-0905. Increased fire safety.
     8  § 37-0901. Definitions. As used in this title:
     9    1. "Chemical flame retardants" shall  mean  any  halogenated  chemical
    10  flame  retardant, including but not limited to TDCPP Tris (1, 3 Dicholo-
    11  ro-2-propyl) phosphate, and any Phosphorus-Bromine flame retardants.
    12    2. "Residential upholstered furniture" shall mean  a  sofa,  loveseat,
    13  chair,  ottoman,  footstool,  or  other  item of furniture, intended for
    14  indoor use in a home that consists, in whole or  in  part,  of  leather,
    15  plastic,  fabric  or other material that contains cotton, wool, polyure-
    16  thane or other natural or synthetic material that is placed in  cushions
    17  or on the frame of the furniture.
    18  § 37-0903. Prohibition on the use of chemical flame retardants.
    19    1.  Beginning  July first, two thousand twenty, no person, firm, part-
    20  nership, association, limited liability  company  or  corporation  shall
    21  sell  or  offer  for  sale  any  residential  upholstered furniture that
    22  contains chemical  flame  retardants  intentionally-added  in  order  to
    23  provide  a  specific characteristic, appearance or quality, to perform a
    24  specific function, or for any other purpose.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03674-01-9

        A. 6260                             2
 
     1    2. The provisions of this section shall  not  apply  to  the  sale  or
     2  distribution  of residential upholstered furniture resold or offered for
     3  resale, or distributed by consumers for consumer use.
     4  § 37-0905. Increased fire safety.
     5    1. Beginning December first, two thousand twenty-two, each manufactur-
     6  er of residential upholstered furniture that is sold or offered for sale
     7  in the state shall certify to the department that any residential uphol-
     8  stered  furniture  sold  or  offered  for  sale  in  the state meets the
     9  requirements of the open flame flammability standard.
    10    2. a. For purposes of this section, "open flame flammability standard"
    11  shall mean a standard, developed pursuant to rules  and  regulations  of
    12  the  department,  in consultation with the office of fire prevention and
    13  control, requiring residential upholstered  furniture  to  not  lead  to
    14  flashover  for  at least fifteen minutes of time. Such standard shall be
    15  reviewed for effectiveness no less  than  every  two  years,  with  such
    16  review  including,  at  a  minimum, examination of the standards used in
    17  other states.
    18    b. For the purposes of this section "flashover" shall mean  the  point
    19  at  which  all exposed surfaces of the residential upholstered furniture
    20  reach ignition temperatures and fire spreads rapidly.
    21    c. For the purposes  of  this  section  "manufacturer"  shall  mean  a
    22  person,  firm,  partnership,  association,  limited liability company or
    23  corporation that assembles or substantially assembles residential uphol-
    24  stered furniture for sale in the state  or  imports  residential  uphol-
    25  stered furniture for sale in the state.
    26    3.  The  department  may,  following  public hearings, adopt rules and
    27  regulations authorizing an  exemption  to  subdivision  one  of  section
    28  37-0903  of this title upon a determination by the commissioner that the
    29  proposed chemical flame  retardant  will  not  negatively  affect  human
    30  health or the environment. Such determination may only be made after the
    31  completion  of a comprehensive health impact assessment conducted by the
    32  department of health, following a model recommended by the  centers  for
    33  disease control and prevention.
    34    §  2.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
    35  have become a law; provided however, that section 37-0905 of  the  envi-
    36  ronmental  conservation  law  as  added by section one of this act shall
    37  take effect June 1, 2022; provided, however, that  the  commissioner  of
    38  environmental  conservation is authorized and directed to promulgate any
    39  rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this  act
    40  on or before such effective date.
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A06260 LFIN:

 NO LFIN
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