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ISPA's SLEEP PRODUCTS SAFETY COUNCIL INTRODUCES NEW MATTRESS SAFETY HANGTAGS IN RESPONSE TO CPSC'S NEW FEDERAL OPEN-FLAME STANDARD TO TAKE EFFECT JULY 1, 2007

(Alexandria, VA)  To coincide with the July 1, 2007 effective date for the new national open-flame mattress standard, the International Sleep Products Association’s (ISPA) Sleep Products Safety Council (SPSC) is introducing mattress hangtags with a brand new look to help educate consumers. The hangtags carry important product safety information and feature revised messages and a crisp, new design. To view the new hangtag, visit www.sleepproducts.org/spschangtags.

The hangtags, first developed by the SPSC two decades ago, have been an important way for mattress manufacturers to inform consumers about product safety, with approximately 220 million hangtags sold in the United States and Canada since their introduction. The new hangtags are designed to inform and educate consumers about safety hazards to avoid when using their new mattresses.

“We have worked closely with CPSC to establish this new standard, and now that it’s passed, our work is far from over,” said Tom Taylor, acting chair of the SPSC.  “The new mattresses will meet fire safety standards, but that does not mean mattresses are fire-proof – they will only burn more slowly and less intensely, allowing for more time to escape from a home. That’s a critical message to communicate, and our redesigned mattress hangtags provide one of the best and easiest ways to educate consumers about their new mattress’ flammability, as well as provide other important safety tips. It’s one of several complementary efforts we have underway to educate consumers such as our Web site at www.safesleep.org, where new information about the open-flame standard is included.” 

The bright yellow hangtags, entitled “Don’t Go To Sleep Yet … Eight Things You Need to Know About Your Mattress,” highlight safety messages regarding smoking, matches, candles, space heaters, electrical cords, sleeping with babies, and the disposal of plastic wrapping and old mattresses. Pricing for the basic hangtag has not changed, but the SPSC has lowered the price for the redesigned and re-sized Tyvek® version that can be permanently sewn onto the mattress.

The hangtags perform another important function: Every time a bedding manufacturer places an order for an SPSC hangtag, it supports the Council’s mission, which is “to provide consumer safety information, support scientific research, and promote activities aimed at reducing hazards associated with mattresses and other sleep products.” It’s an important role.  The Council’s efforts reach beyond flammability issues and encompass other mattress-related subjects, including child safety, suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), smoke detectors, and indoor air quality research.

“The dollars invested in the SPSC safety hangtags go a long way toward funding SPSC’s support of scientific research on mattress safety issues, the results of which are shared with regulatory bodies to provide them with relevant information they need to make important decisions on actions that affect the consumer and industry,” added Taylor. ”The hangtags have enabled the mattress industry to take a leadership role in conducting product research, developing critical fire performance test protocols and designing landmark studies on the relationship between bedding and indoor air quality.  For example, funding supports our work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to eliminate the overlap between the CPSC’s 1633 open-flame and 1632 cigarette regulations.”

The new hangtags are designed to meet the needs of non-English-speaking consumers in the U.S. and Canada, using a series of pictograms about fire safety that can be understood in any language. In addition, the hangtag encourages those who speak Spanish or French to visit the SPSC Web site (www.safesleep.org) for more information.  An English/French version of the SPSC hangtag is available for products sold in Canada.

To learn more about how you can participate in SPSC’s safety hangtag program and for information on ordering tags, contact Jane Oseth at joseth@sleepproducts.org or at (703) 683-8371, ext 1130.

Established in 1915, the International Sleep Products Association, is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the growth, profitability and stature of the mattress manufacturing industry.  ISPA represents over 700 mattress manufacturers and their suppliers throughout the world.

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