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Regulatory Bulletin

Regulatory Bulletin Prohibition on the Manufacture, Distribution & Sale of Certain Flame Retardants in Massachusetts

Date: 02/17/2021
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Referenced Sources: An Act to Protect Children, Families, and Firefighters from Harmful Flame Retardants

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Table of Contents

The New Flame Retardants Law

On January 1, 2021, Governor Baker signed the Acts of 2020, Chapter 261, adding a new Section 28 to Chapter 21A of the Massachusetts General Laws, which states: 

A manufacturer or retailer shall not sell, offer or manufacture for sale, distribute in commerce or import into the commonwealth a covered product, except for inventory manufactured prior to December 31, 2021, that contains any of the following chemical flame retardants or a chemical analogue the total weight of which exceeds 1,000 parts per million for any component part of the covered product: 

  1. Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 13674–87–8); 
  2. Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 115–96–8); 
  3. Antimony trioxide (Chemical Abstracts Service number 1309–64–4); 
  4. Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 25637–99–4); 
  5. Bis(2-Ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6- tetrabromophthalate (TBPH) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 26040–51–7); 
  6. 2-EthylhexYl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 183658– 27–7); 
  7. Chlorinated paraffins (Chemical Abstracts Service number 85535–84–8); 
  8. Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 13674–84–5); 
  9. PentaBDE (Chemical Abstracts Service number 32534-81-9); 
  10. OctaBDE (Chemical Abstracts Service number 32536-52-0); 
  11. Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) (Chemical Abstracts Service number 79-94-7)

The new law defines covered products that include bedding, carpeting, children’s products, residential upholstered furniture, and window treatments. 

It also instructs the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to review, identify and recommend, if applicable, other flame retardants to prohibit if the agency determines they may present a toxic hazard to people. MassDEP will conduct this review not less than every three years.

Manufacturers of covered products are required to notify retailers and others who distribute or sell them of the new law's passage no later than July 1, 2021. 

MassDEP will be conducting outreach to manufacturers, retailers, and others to make them aware of the new law and their related compliance obligations.

Supporting Research

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), test data and monitoring studies in humans and the environment have demonstrated that certain flame retardant chemicals can:

  • Persist in the environment,
  • Bioaccumulate in people and animals, and
  • Cause adverse developmental effects in animals.

See the EPA Consumer Fact Sheet on Flame Retardants for additional information.

Contact for Prohibition on the Manufacture, Distribution & Sale of Certain Flame Retardants in Massachusetts

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