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Hickory Springs Eliminates TDCPP Fire Retardant From Foam Formulations And Production Facilities

Furniture Industry News Update - Furniture World Magazine

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Article Summary: Long used as a fire retardant in a variety of home furnishings and automotive products, TDCPP has come under fire as a potential health threat.

Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company, a global manufacturer of integrated solutions and components to the furniture, bedding, transportation and a growing number of diversified markets, announces that it is eliminating TDCPP fire retardant from its foam formulations and production facilities.

“The decision to eliminate TDCPP from our foam products did not come easily or without cost,” said Foam Senior Vice President Buster Mann. “But at the end of the day, it was the right thing to do, and it supports our goal to be a proactive leader within the marketplace.”

Long used as a fire retardant in a variety of home furnishings and automotive products, TDCPP has come under fire as a potential health threat, and last October it appeared on the California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) list of materials that, according to California regulatory authorities, can increase the risk of contracting cancer by 1 in 100,000 chances or better. Interestingly, this is the same state that effectively mandated the use of fire retardants when it implemented California Technical Bulletin 117 in the mid-1970s.

Passed by a direct voter initiative in 1986, Prop 65 requires California manufacturers and retailers of products sold in California to notify workers, communities and consumers when chemicals identified as having the potential to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm are present in their products, workplace environment or retail store. Originally intended to protect California citizens and the state’s drinking water supply from chemicals perceived by the state to be toxic, the bill held much farther reaching implications.

Today, the Prop 65 list includes more than 800 materials, among them coffee, gasoline, balsamic vinegar, aspirin and components of many common household items. According to Prop 65 Regulations, products containing these materials and sold in California must, in order to be compliant, come with a Prop 65 cancer warning label. For that reason, special attention must be given to management of finished goods, work-in-process and raw material inventory in order to achieve and maintain compliance with Prop 65 requirements.

“Even though Prop 65 does not ban or restrict the use of any material, including TDCPP, Hickory Springs has chosen to eliminate the chemical from its formulations,” explained Mann. “We realize Californians are inundated with Prop 65 warnings in almost all aspects of their daily lives, but the thought of placing warning labels on furniture or mattresses was something Hickory Springs was not comfortable with doing.”

To avoid the labeling requirements, Mann suggested, “Where practical, our customers should consider shipping older material to locations outside of California for sale purposes.” Mann went on to explain that compliance with Prop 65 is important, and therefore it is advisable for customers to seek legal counsel for specific advice on issues they may face.

About Hickory Springs Manufacturing: One of North Carolina’s largest employers, Hickory Springs is a privately held company that brings together approximately 2,400 employees in more than 50 manufacturing plants in 16 states and China to serve a wide array of diverse customers and markets. Based in Hickory, N.C., the company has expanded its global presence and moved beyond core furniture and bedding markets to embrace new growth opportunities in transportation, healthcare, packaging and government sectors. Please visit www.hickorysprings.com for additional information.

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