|Office of the Secretary
July 1, 1999
Rocco J. Gabriele, President
The National Association of State Fire Marshals
1319 F Street, N.W. - Suite 301
Washington, D.C. 20004
Re: Petition for Rulemaking: Fire Hazard Warning Label on Certain Upholstered Furniture
Dear Mr. Gabriele:
This letter responds to the above-referenced Petition requesting that the Federal Trade Commission commence a trade regulation rule proceeding to require manufacturers and retailers of upholstered furniture containing polyurethane foam to affix flammability warning labels to such furniture. your petition was also directed to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
As you know, CPSC has direct authority under the Flammable Fabrics Act to issue flammability standards or require labeling for upholstered furniture. CPSC published a Federal Register notice soliciting comment on your latest petition, 64 Fed. Reg. 16,711 (April 6, 1999). Further, CPSC staff has informed FTC staff that it will consider alternatives to address furniture flammability risks, including possible warning label requirements, as part of an ongoing rulemaking proceeding under the Flammable Fabrics Act.(1) Accordingly, the Commission believes that CPSC is the most appropriate agency at this time to address the issues raised in your petition.
As a result, the Commission has determined not to initiate a rulemaking proceeding at this time and to refer your petition and supporting materials to CPSC. This determination does not preclude the Commission from considering, at a later date, a possible rulemaking proceeding, or from taking whatever other action it deems appropriate.
By direction of the Commission.
Benjamin I. Berman
1. This ongoing rulemaking is in response to your association's prior petition requesting that CPSC develop a product safety standard addressing risks of death and injury from upholstered furniture fires.