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Michael Hawthorne
Chicago Tribune
Created: August 29, 3014

Aug. 29--As furniture makers move to phase out toxic, ineffective flame retardants, the chemical industry is waging an aggressive last-ditch campaign to preserve a lucrative market that reaches into virtually every American home.

One of the world's leading manufacturers of flame retardants is suing California to block a new flammability standard that starting next year will allow furniture manufacturers to eliminate the chemicals from new upholstered sofas and chairs sold nationwide. The lawsuit, scheduled to be argued Friday in a Sacramento courtroom, is backed by the American Chemistry Council, the industry's chief trade group.

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Report Receipt Date: JUL 02, 2014 
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V402000 
Potential Number of Units Affected: 175

Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company

SUMMARY:

Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2014 Ford Fiesta vehicles manufactured October 25, 2013, to February 27, 2014. Due to a manufacturing error, the fuel tank may leak.

Read the full details at NHTSA

Recall date: August 26, 2014

Description

This recall involves Hewlett-Packard’s LS-15 AC power cord. The power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers and with AC adapter-powered accessories such as docking stations. The power cords are black in color and have an “LS-15” molded mark on the AC adapter end of the power cord.


Read the full details at CPSC

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.

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Recall date: August 27, 2014 Description

The recall involves Amana, Century, Comfort-Aire, Goodman and York International-branded Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps. The units are rated 230/208 volt, 3.5 kW and are most often installed in walls of hotels, motels, apartment buildings and commercial spaces to provide room climate control. The recalled units are beige with serial numbers ranging from 0701009633 through 0804272329. The brand name is located on the unit’s front cover.  The serial number is located on the control board plate found by lifting the unit’s front cover.

 

Read the full details at CPSC

 

Upholstered Chair Fire Tests Using a California Technical Bulletin 133 Burner Ignition Source D.W. Stroup, L. DeLauter, J. Lee and G. Roadarmel Building and Fire Research Laboratory National Institute of Standards and Technology U.S. Department of Commerce Gaithersburg, MD 20899 Upholstered Chair Fire Tests Using a California Technical Bulletin 133 Burner Ignition Source  D.W. Stroup, L. DeLauter, J. Lee and G. Roadarmel Building and Fire Research Laboratory National Institute of Standards and Technology U.S. Department of Commerce Gaithersburg, MD 20899

 

Abstract

A series of fire tests were conducted to characterize the potential hazard from ignition of an upholstered chair.  The particular chair was selected as part of a fire investigation being conducted by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Heat release rate was determined as a function of time from ignition using the oxygen depletion principle.  Two tests were conducted with the chairs placed in the open under large calorimeters.

The third test was conducted with the chair located in a room.  Peak heat release rates obtained during the tests ranged from approximately 1 MW to 2.5 MW.

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November 10-12, 2014 Training Seminar

CCAI Training Seminar November 10 - 12, 2014 
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Governor Brown Directs State Agencies to Revise Flammability Standards

SACRAMENTO – in an effort to protect public safety by reducing the use of toxic flame retardants, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today advised state agencies to revise flammability standards for upholstered furniture sold in the state.

Governor Brown has asked the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation to review the state’s four-decade-old flammability standards and recommend changes to reduce toxic flame retardants while continuing to ensure fire safety.

“Toxic flame retardants are found in everything from high chairs to couches and a growing body of evidence suggests that these chemicals harm human health and the environment,” said Governor Brown. “We must find better ways to meet fire safety standards by reducing and eliminating—wherever possible—dangerous chemicals.”
Studies show that humans are at risk from exposure to toxic chemicals used as flame retardants in upholstered furniture. A 2008 study by the Environmental Working Group found that toddlers often have three times the level of flame retardant chemicals in their bodies as their parents, and California children have some of the highest levels of toxic flame retardants in their bodies.

A peer-reviewed study by scientists at Cal/EPA found that California women have much higher levels of toxic flame retardants in their breast tissue than women in other states and countries. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley found statistically significant associations between flame retardant levels in the blood of California women and reduced fertility. The researchers believe this link may result from alterations in thyroid hormone levels after exposure to the chemicals.

Numerous studies demonstrate that firefighters have significantly elevated rates of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and brain cancer. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concluded that firefighters have a significantly elevated risk of cancer that may be attributed to toxic chemicals they inhale, including flame retardants.

The guidelines in place now—Technical Bulletin 117 for flammability standards—will be updated to reflect modern manufacturing methods that can lower the use of harmful chemicals.

The process to change these regulations will include workshops and the opportunity for public comment as well as administrative review.


Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

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