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JUNE 2021 - HARDLINES, SOFTLINES
On 23 June 2021, the USA Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued the final rule1 to amend the Standard for the Flammability of Mattresses and Mattress Pads (16 CFR Part 1632). The amended rule requires a revised Standard Reference Material cigarette (SRM 1196a) as ignition source for performing the flammability test, because the SRM 1196 cigarette which is referenced into the current rule, is no longer available.
The standard reference material cigarettes (SRM), developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), are used as ignition source for performing the flammability test. All the SRM 1196 cigarettes were produced in one production run in 2010. In late 2018, the supply of SRM 1196 was depleted and NIST was unable to find a manufacturer to produce additional SRM 1196 cigarettes. However, NIST successfully developed and procured a new SRM 1196a as a replacement for SRM 1196.
Considering the shortage of the earlier version of the SRM (i.e. SRM 1196), the CPSC implemented several interim enforcement policies2 in the past allowing certain flexibility on testing and compliance requirements.
Simultaneously, the CPSC staff conducted an initial pilot study in late 2019 to evaluate the suitability of SRM 1196a as a substitute for SRM 1196 and subsequently conducted a full-scale study in early 2020, to determine whether there is statistical equivalence between SRM 1196 and SRM 1196a.
Based on the data collected from various study and examination (e.g. full-scale study, pilot study, and NIST certification, examination of CPSC compliance data etc.), CPSC found that the SRM 1196a cigarettes are statistically equivalent to SRM 1196.
The amended rule will become effective from 23 July 2021.