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Mattress flammability standard will start in July 2007

Washington -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has approved a federal mattress flammability standard to take effect July 1, 2007. In a 3-0 vote, the CPSC commissioners approved staff recommendations on the testing protocol, which calls for a 30-minute burn test.

CPSC said it is “one of the most important safety standards ever developed” by the commission. The standard is designed to limit the spread and intensity of a mattress fire, giving consumers more time to escape from their homes.

When fully effective, CPSC estimates the new mandatory standard for mattresses is likely to save as many as 270 lives a year, preventing 78% of the deaths occurring every year. It also is expected to prevent 1,330 injuries, or 84% of those that occur in an average year.

Some suppliers of fire-resistant materials, and one mattress manufacturer, Serta, had expressed hope that the standard would take effect even earlier, but the commissioners endorsed the July 1 date, which CPSC staff had suggested last month.

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