U.S. – CPSC Proposes to Amend the 16 CFR 1610 Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles
Vol. 1329 | October 31, 2022
In 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) surveyed information about 16 CFR 1610-Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles on the appropriate testing equipment, Standard procedures, and ways to update those provisions to reduce testing burdens, provide clarity, and reflect current industry practices. The request for information could be grouped into the following areas:
- Stop thread specifications
- Burn code classification
- Refurbishing (including restrictions on dry-cleaning solvents and the availability of machines meeting the laundering specifications in the Standard)
Based on the comments received for the 2019 Request for Information, as well as the CPSC staff’s testing and other resources, the Commission now proposes to amend the 1610 Standard. The following are the proposed amendments:
- Stop Thread Specifications: 3-ply, white, mercerized, 100% cotton sewing thread, with a Tex size of 35 to 45 Tex. Cotton, as opposed to Polyester, will be used for the stop thread since Polyester threads are designed to be flame resistant.
- Burn Code Classification: Revise the burn codes for the raised surface textile fabrics. Further, the proposal clarifies that there is only one burn code for determining whether the fabric is Class 2 or Class 3. Each classification has a designated name—Normal Flammability, Intermediate Flammability and Rapid and Intense Burning.
- Refurbishing: According to the Standard, flammability testing is required to be performed before and after refurbishing (i.e., dry cleaning followed by laundering). Following are the proposed changes to dry cleaning and laundering:
- Dry Cleaning:
- Add alternatives to Perchloroethylene, such as hydrocarbon solvents and accompanying parameters. This is due to the increasing restrictions on the use of Perchloroethylene in dry cleaning, both at the State and Federal levels.
- Washing conforms to the provisions in sections 9.2 and 9.4, and the provisions for “(1) Normal” and “(IV) Hot” in Table 1, Standard Washing Machine Parameters, of LP1- 2021; and
- Drying conforms to the provisions in section 12.2(A), and the provisions for “(Aiii) Permanent Press” in Table VI, Standard Tumble Dryer Parameters, of LP1-2021.
Plain Surface Textile Fabric
Raised Surface Textile Fabric
Burn time is 3.5 seconds or more. ACCEPTABLE (3.5 seconds is a pass)
(1) Burn time is greater than 7.0 seconds; or (2) Burn time is less than or equal to 7.0 seconds with no SFBB test result code. Exhibits rapid surface flash only. ACCEPTABLE—Normal Flammability.
Class 2 is not applicable to plain surface textile fabrics.
Burn time is 4.0-7.0 seconds (inclusive) with base burn (SFBB). ACCEPTABLE—Intermediate Flammability.
Burn time is less than 3.5 seconds. NOT ACCEPTABLE
Burn time is less than 4.0 seconds with base burn (SFBB). NOT ACCEPTABLE-Rapid and Intense Burning.
- Dry Cleaning:
The Commission proposes to incorporate the laundering specifications in LP1-2021, instead of reducing the agitation speed with AATCC TM-124-2006 since the LP1-2021 is commonly used by laboratories and machines that meet the LP1-2021 specifications are already available in the market.
The deadline for submitting written comments is November 14, 2022.
The link to the 16 CFR 1610 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is as follows: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/09/14/2022-19505/standard-for-the-flammability-of-clothing-textiles-notice-of-proposed-rulemaking.
2019 Request for Information: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-04-23/pdf/2019-08140.pdf