On July 1, 2017, Washington’s “Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act” goes into effect, restricting the use of the following five flame retardants in children’s products and residential upholstered furniture:

  • Additive TBBPA
  • Deca-BDE
  • TCEP

Under the Act, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers are prohibited from manufacturing, knowingly selling, offering for sale, or distributing for sale or use in Washington children’s products and residential upholstered furniture containing these five flame retardants in amounts greater than 1,000 ppm in any product component.

While the impact may be muted because several states, including California, New York, Vermont and Maryland, have already passed laws more or less regulating Deca-BDE, TDCPP and TCEP out of the market, the Act presents two concerns.

First, Washington is the first state to restrict TBBPA. Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers may need to do some prep work to determine whether this substance is in their covered products.

Second, the Act contains no sell through period or “manufactured by” date. The restriction applies to covered products whether or not they were manufactured prior to July 1, 2017, including any existing inventory retailers have on sales floors or available on ecomm sites.

In addition, the Act directs the Washington Departments of Health and Ecology to evaluate six additional flame retardants (IPTPP, TBB, TBPH, TCPP, TPP and V6) and make recommendations to the Washington Legislature for possible future restrictions.