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Bedding likely part of new flammability standards

New York — Home textiles suppliers and retailers must be aware that filled bedding products — mattress pads, pillows, and comforters — will be among the consumer products that must conform to government flammability standards at one level of government or another.

This was the view of three key speakers who came here last week to update the home textiles industry under the auspices of Home Fashion Products Association.

While the first deadline for legal rules will be in California by January 2004 for mattresses, that state's legislation, all the speakers agreed, also mandates regulation if top-of-bed textiles are found to contribute to mattress fires. The consensus is that it is not clear as to the date for bedding.

One of the challenges, said Patty Adair, assistant vp, textile products and standards, American Textile Manufacturers (Institute (ATMI) is that there are no standards yet developed for bed clothing. The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) currently is conducting research on bed clothes, she added, with results scheduled for publication January 2003.

Gordon Damant, a former California Bureau of Home Furnishings official, and now with the Down & Feather Testing Lab and the International Sleep Products Safety Council, described an array of testing procedures that are under development, but not have yet been adopted for universal use, he said.

Allyson Tenney, textile technologist for CPSC, said "we are trying to better understand the residential market and the magnitude of the hazard."

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