Furniture: Fire Resistant Materials

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 20th May 2019.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they taking to comply with the Stockholm Agreement and other agreements on the control of hazardous chemicals for any UK upholstered furniture containing a number of persistent organic pollutants with no available information or register of their chemical composition, in particular, flame retardants.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK has some of the most rigorous chemical regulations in the world. The Government implements the Stockholm Convention through EU Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Chemicals in use also have to go through assessments under the REACH Regulation (No 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). All furniture placed on the market in the UK must comply with these regulations.

We are committed to improving traceability of chemicals in products and waste and are working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on this.

Specifically, the Government is reviewing the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 and has consulted on whether to introduce a specific requirement for furniture labels to stipulate any flame retardants used in their manufacture. The Government’s response to the consultation will be published in due course.

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