FLAMMABILITY OF DOWN & FEATHERS

Down and feathers are among the least flammable bedding filling material, according to various government and industry sources.

What are the proposed bedding flammability standards in the USA?

The Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation in the State of California have two areas of regulation: ( See their website for additional information —> www.dca.ca.gov/bhfti )

  1. Beginning in January 2005, a new flammability standard for mattresses was enforced. The standard, TB-603, is stricter than the previous mattress standard.
  2. California Law requires the Bureau to review the impact of bed-clothing in home fires. If bed-clothing plays a significant role, the Bureau must develop flammability standards. The proposed standards TB-604 were developed in 2004. During 2007 an inter-laboratory test series was completed. Possible dates for rule-making, implementation and enforcement are not yet known.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of the USA federal government is contemplating the implementation of nationwide flammability standards for bed clothing. The CPSC could work together with California or develop their own federal standard or do nothing at all. www.cpsc.gov

Are down and feathers flammable?

All textile products burn when exposed long enough to an open flame. Down and feathers will smolder, but have more difficulty igniting (especially compared to other fill materials).

In the initial testing of bedding products by the California Bureau, down and feather products passed some of the standards of the proposed bed-clothing flammability regulation. Down and feathers do well in comparison with other filling materials. California has initially exempted down comforters from the proposed standards. Down and feather pillows are still under review

Do other countries have flammability standards?

Europeans are reluctant to adopt flammability standards for bedding products due to concern for the personal health and general environment problems of flame-proof fabrics.

The British have among the most stringent flammability standards for bedding (comforters are, however, exempt from these standards). We are unaware of the flammability standards in Canada.

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