Vol. 1255 | 29 Jun 2021

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a final rule to amend its Standard for the Flammability of Mattresses and Mattress Pads (16 CFR part 1632). The final rule amends the mattress standard to require a revised Standard Reference Material Cigarette, SRM 1196a, which was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as the ignition source for testing to the mattress standard. This is because the ignition source cigarette currently specified in the standard for use in the mattress standard’s performance tests, Standard Reference Material Cigarette SRM 1196, is no longer available for purchase. The rule will become effective on July 23, 2021.

NIST developed SRM 1196 in 2010. CPSC issued a final rule amending 16 CFR 1632 to specify SRM 1196 as the standard ignition source, which became effective on September 23, 2012. However, in late 2018 the supply of SRM 1196 was depleted. NIST procured SRM 1196a as a replacement for SRM 1196 by examining the cigarette’s ignition strength, tobacco column length and mass, use of unbanded paper, and absence of a filter. CPSC staff also evaluated SRM 1196a in a pilot study and then a full-scale study and determined that SRM 1196a is a comparable, safety-neutral replacement for SRM 1196.

The CPSC prepared a final regulatory analysis and made findings concerning any relevant voluntary standard, and the relationship of costs and benefits of the rule before issuing the final rule. The CPSC received four public comments, one commenter supported amendment while three other commenters opposed the amendment. The CPSC provided response on the negative impact of the cost of implementing SRM 1196a, the challenges stemming from supply chain shortages to the mattress market due to COVID-19, etc. The CPSC found that SRM 1196a is a safety-neutral replacement for SRM 1196 so that firms are not required to retest existing prototypes, therefore no additional cost associated with this amendment.

The CPSC found that amending the mattress flammability standard (16 CFR part 1632) to specify SRM 1196a cigarettes are the ignition source is reasonable, technologically practicable and needed to protect the public against the unreasonable risk of the occurrence of fire leading to injury, death, and significant property damage.

The Federal Register notice with this final rule was published on June 23, 2021.  It can be found at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-06-23/pdf/2021-13070.pdf  

SRM 1196a is available for purchase from the NIST at https://www-s.nist.gov/srmors/quickSearch.cfm?srm=1196a  

For questions, please contact Dr. Stella Li (xingyu.li@intertek.com, +1- 503-351-9612), Dr. Pratik Ichhaporia (pratik.ichhaporia@intertek.com, +1-847-212-8273).


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