Announced Actions for January 6, 1998

For Your Information


DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems and BASF Corporation have each independently petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to change its Textile Labeling Rules to include generic names and definitions for new fibers manufactured by the companies.

DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems

DuPont asked the Commission to adopt the name "fluoropolymer" for the fiber it calls "Teflon PTFE fluorocarbon fiber" or "Teflon fiber." DuPont stated that it has manufactured the fiber for industrial applications since the 1950s and now plans to begin using it in consumer clothing such as socks. DuPont said its fiber is low friction, water-resistant, and flame-resistant, and claimed that Teflon fiber fabrics may reduce the chance of skin irritation, be more comfortable, and be permanently water- and stain-resistant. DuPont explained that none of the current generic fiber definitions in the Textile Rules is appropriate for its fiber.

BASF Corporation

BASF requested the Commission to adopt the name "melamine" for its "Basofil" fiber. BASF said that Basofil is mostly used in combination with other heat- and flame-resistant fibers, and is for use whenever heat and flame resistance are vital, such as in fire-blocking fabrics, protective apparel, and heat-insulating fabrics. BASF stated that the unique chemistry of Basofil fiber is not described adequately under any of the existing generic names in the Textile Rules.

The FTC enforces the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, which requires fabric and apparel manufacturers to use the generic names of the fibers in their products on the fiber content labels that must be on the products. The FTC’s Textile Rules, issued under this statute, set out the process a manufacturer must go through to establish a new generic fiber name.

The Commission vote on each of these petitions was 4-0, with Commissioner Mozelle W. Thompson not participating. The DuPont and BASF petitions were published today in the Federal Register and comments on these proposals will be accepted until March 23, 1998.

Comments on these petitions should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, at the same address; 202-326-3128; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202- 326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov

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