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Industry Applauds New Open-Flame Mattress Standard

(Alexandria, VA -- February 16, 2006)  The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) and the Sleep Products Safety Council (SPSC) applauded the much-anticipated open-flame mattress standard approved today by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a unanimous 3-0 vote. The new standard sets mandatory national fire performance criteria for all mattresses manufactured in the United States or imported on or after July 1, 2007.

The new CPSC rule, Part 1633, sets a single standard for the entire country. “We commend CPSC for their commitment to this critical initiative--after next July, the same national fire safety criteria will apply to mattresses sold in the United States, regardless of where they are made,” said Dick Doyle, ISPA President. “Mattress manufacturers are gearing up or already producing mattresses to meet this life-saving standard, and ISPA will continue to provide resources to help them comply.”

ISPA and the SPSC have long supported CPSC’s efforts to establish a national open-flame standard that is science-based, effective and practical. “The new standard will enhance product safety and result in mattresses that will meet consumer demand for comfort and support,” said SPSC Executive Director Pat Martin.

The new open flame standard is largely based on regulations adopted early last year in California. Both the CPSC and California requirements are based on scientific research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as substantial input from mattress manufacturers, their suppliers, and the fire safety community.  The CPSC states that its standard will substantially reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from mattress fires. 
                                                           
The new standard applies to mattresses manufactured domestically as well as imported and renovated mattresses. The rule makes clear that mattress importers have significant compliance obligations.  Importers will be required to maintain in the United States test records and other documentation that foreign manufacturers must prepare showing compliance with the new standard.  

In addition to consistent application of the standards to domestically produced and imported mattresses, key areas addressed include clarifications of the mattress testing requirements, an explicit requirement that renovated mattresses meet the open-flame standard, and elimination of the sample retention requirement.  ISPA will continue to work with the CPSC to assure a fair and consistent level of enforcement of the new standard as it becomes effective.

The Sleep Products Safety Council, www.safesleep.org is a non-profit organization established in 1986 by the mattress industry. SPSC’s mission is to provide consumer safety information, support scientific research, and promote activities aimed at reducing hazards associated with mattresses and other sleep products.

Established in 1915, the International Sleep Products Association, www.sleepproducts.org, is the trade organization for mattress manufacturers and their component suppliers around the world. ISPA hosts the biennial ISPA EXPO trade show and publishes BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines.

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