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California flammability bill signed into law

Sacramento, CA — The California assembly bill which the Home Fashion Products Association, the American Textile Manufacturers Institute and several independent bedding manufacturers had tried to fight has become law.

Governor Gray Davis signed Assembly Bill 603 into law on Aug. 10. It authorizes the California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation to develop regulations concerning the flammability of mattresses and bedding. More specifically, the law states that on or before Jan. 1, 2004, bedding which is found to contribute to mattress fires must be made fire retardant.

Both the HFPA and the ATMI said it was not the purpose of the bill they were fighting but its language, which does not specify what 'bedding' means. According to California statute, 'bedding' essentially entails any product that is filled or stuffed and is used for sleeping. However, since no qualification or definition of bedding is made in the bill, than what exactly AB 603 encompasses remains unclear.

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